This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Statistics on prosecutions for sectarianism'.


DIRECTORATE FOR SAFER COMMUNITIES
DSF : Justice Analytical Services
abcd
 
 
 
 
A. Jackson
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Reference: 202100220293
 
26 July 2021
 
Dear A. Jackson ,
 
REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002 (FOISA)
Thank you for your request dated 5 July 2021 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
(FOISA).
Your request
You asked for information on:
From 01 January 2011 - 30 June 2021, what is the total number of prosecutions for sectarian
offences throughout Scotland?
For the same time period, what percentage of crime in Scotland was for sectarian offences?
For the same period, what was the total amount and percentage of sectarian offences that are
attributed to anti-Catholicism?
For the same period, what was the total amount and percentage of sectarian offences that are
attributed to anti-Protestantism?
For the same period, of the offences that are anti-Catholic in nature, how many of them involved
usage of the word “fenian”?
For the same period, of the offences that are anti-Protestant in nature, how many of them
involved usage of the word “hun”?
As July tends to be a contentious time in the west of Scotland, I’d additionally be thankful to
provided with the figures and percentages of sectarian hate crime (and what terminology was
used) that took place in July 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020. 
Scottish Ministers, special advisers and the Permanent Secretary are covered by the terms of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016. See
www.lobbying.scot
St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG
www.gov.scot


Response to your request
Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government
does not hold the specific information you requested. Further guidance on this is provided below for
each part of your request.
The current Scottish Government definition for sectarianism states that: Sectarianism in Scotland is a
mixture of perceptions, attitudes, actions, and structures that involves overlooking, excluding,
discriminating against or being abusive or violent towards others on the basis of their perceived
Christian denominational background. This perception is always mixed with other factors such as, but
not confined to, politics, football allegiance and national identity. Sectarianism is not defined within Scots
Law and therefore crimes and offences that may be considered to meet this definition would most likely
be those which attracted a religion and/or race aggravation(s).
We cannot identify from the Scottish Government’s criminal proceedings database whether
prosecutions relate to sectarian offences. This is because only limited information is held on the
circumstances of the offences, and there is no charge under legislation that only relates to sectarian-
related offences. We do hold information on when a crime or offence is aggravated on the basis of
religion or race, but this may relate to any religion or race. This data is published in Table 12 and Table
13 of the Criminal Proceedings in Scotland National Statistics.

The data we receive from Police Scotland for the production of the annual National Statistics on
Recorded Crime, is a simple count of the number of crimes and offences, for each local authority,
which the police have recorded. This means that we do not have any specific information as to the
nature of any individual crime including whether they related to sectarian behaviour.
 
However, in February 2021 the Scottish Government published a study into the characteristics of police
recorded hate crime in Scotland. This report includes information on the number of hate aggravated
crimes recorded by the police between 2014-15 and 2019-20, including the percentage of these
crimes which included a race and (or) religion aggravator (Table 6 in the supporting documents). This
report also includes details on the characteristics of hate crime, based on a random sample of police
recorded crimes, including information on what prejudice was shown by the perpetrator. Again this does
not include information on whether these crimes were sectarian in nature, albeit in the context of your
request - you may find Table 17 useful as it presents information on the prejudices shown by
perpetrators for hate crimes that had a religion aggravator. In 2018-19, 42% of religion aggravated hate
crimes in Scotland showed a prejudice against Catholicism, 12% showed prejudice against
Protestantism. Information regarding any wording used by perpetrators is unavailable due to small
sample sizes.
Your right to request a review
If you are unhappy with this response to your FOI request, you may ask us to carry out an internal review
of the response, by writing to Don McGillivray, Director of Safer Communities, Area 1R, ST ANDREWS
HOUSE, REGENT ROAD, EDINBURGH, EH1 3DG or by email at xxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxxx. Your
review request should explain why you are dissatisfied with this response, and should be made within
40 working days from the date when you received this letter. We will complete the review in accordance
with FOISA as soon as possible, and not later than 20 working days from the day following the date we
receive your review request.
Scottish Ministers, special advisers and the Permanent Secretary are covered by the terms of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016. See
www.lobbying.scot
St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG
www.gov.scot


If you are not satisfied with the result of the review, you then have the right to appeal to the Scottish
Information Commissioner. More detailed information on your appeal rights is available on the
Commissioner's website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Unhappywiththeresponse
/AppealingtoCommissioner.aspx.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
 
Anna Mackinnon
JAS : Safer Communities Analytical Unit
Scottish Ministers, special advisers and the Permanent Secretary are covered by the terms of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016. See
www.lobbying.scot
St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG
www.gov.scot