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To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-07322 by Kenny MacAskill on 6 June 2012 and to the publication of the report, Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2012, whether it will provide a breakdown of recorded religious hate crimes in 2011-12 expressed as the number of incidents per 1,000 members of each religious affiliation.

Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (12/12/2012):

The report ‘Religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2011-12 was published on 23 November 2012 and presented information on the number of religious aggravation charges (from section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003) that were reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) by the police in 2011-12.

The following table shows religious aggravation charges that were reported to COPFS in 2011-12 for conduct which was derogatory to each religion. The final column presents the number of charges per 1,000 members of each, as recorded in the 2001 census. It is important to note that reported charges only contain information about the nature of the offensive conduct and not about the religious affiliation of the victims of incidents.

Table: Religious aggravation charges derogatory to religions in Scotland in 2011-12 per 1,000 members.

The religion that conduct was derogatory towards:

Number of Charges

Number of Members

Charges per 1,000 Members





Roman Catholicism




















Table notes:

Information on religious aggravations is taken from Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2011-12, Scottish Government, available online at:

2 The number of charges refers to the religion that the conduct was derogatory towards and not the number of charges where victims had the relevant affiliation. Information about victims’ religious affiliations are not recorded by the police.

3 There were 876 section 74 charges reported to COPFS in 2011-12 but some charges referred to conduct that was derogatory to more than one religious affiliation.

4 Religious group membership information data are taken from the 2001 census. Available online at:

5 There are three charges included in the 865 total which referred to conduct which was offensive to Christianity in general and were not directed towards Protestantism or Roman Catholicism.

6 Religious group membership data is based on self-reported affiliation in the 2001 census. Christian denominations are presented in the census under three categories: ‘Roman Catholic’, ‘Church of Scotland’ and ‘other Christian.’ For the purpose of this table only ‘Church of Scotland’ membership has been attributed as ‘Protestant’ because ‘other Christian’ may include a mixture of Protestant and non-Protestant denominations. As a consequence this may lead to an under-reporting of the ‘charges per 1,000 members’ in the Protestant category.

The Scottish Government has been investing to tackle religious intolerance across Scotland, funding the national Scottish Interfaith Council to promote inter faith dialogue and specific communities, such as the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, to address the specific needs of these communities. Over 2012-15, the Scottish Government will continue such investment, committing over £5 million from the Equality Fund to organisations tackling racism and religious intolerance and £9 million to tackle sectarianism in our communities.

Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 12/12/2012
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