Date lodged: 27 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how many religious hate crimes have been recorded in each local authority area in each (a) year since 2007 and (b) month since April 2016, broken down by the (i) faith group, (ii) gender, (iii) race and (iv) country of origin of the victim; how many cases led to a person being (A) arrested, (B) charged, (C) prosecuted and (D) convicted; how many convictions led to a (1) custodial sentence, broken down by average length of sentence, (2) fine, broken down by average size of fine and (3) other form of disposal; what information it has regarding the reasons for deciding not to charge or prosecute, and how many cases remain ongoing investigations.
Answered by: Annabelle Ewing 13 March 2017
The Scottish Government does not hold data on arrests and it is not possible to derive information on religious hate crimes from the recorded crime database. With regards to people being charged the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) have published information up to 2015-16 on hate crime charges reported to them by the police:http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk/publications/equality-and-diversity
This report contains details on the number of charges where a decision is awaiting on how to proceed and where it was decided not to proceed to court. The reasons given for why cases were not proceeded to court ("no action") are presented in Table 8. It is not possible to derive a local authority breakdown from the COPFS database.
Neither the Scottish Government or the COPFS hold information on the faith group, gender, race or country of origin of the victim.
Statistics on the number of people proceeded against and convicted for crimes with a religious aggravator recorded by local authority is available from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre - Bib number 58574. Statistics are presented on a financial year basis up to 2015-16 and are not available on a monthly basis thereafter.
The following table shows the sentencing information requested. Please note that the statistical sources in this answer are not directly comparable due to timing differences. For example, the COPFS figures measure individual charges at the case marking stage while the sentencing information are representative of closed cases that have reached a final verdict in court. This means information relating to an individual could be recorded in different years depending on the stage of the justice system. In addition, a court case can cover more than one charge or count of recorded crime but the sentencing statistics only count the main charge in a case.
People convicted with a religious aggravator recorded against the main charge, by main penalty 2007-08 to 2015-16
Average custodial sentence (days)
Average fine (£)
Source: Criminal Proceedings Database