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COPFS

Hate Crime (13/09/2016) (R013804)

Thank you for your e-mail of 27 July 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“a monthly breakdown of instances of hate crime referred to COPFS by Police Scotland between 1 January 2015 and 27 July 2016.If possible please specify crime type (i.e. racially-, ethnicity-motivated etc) and location of offence (this could be town/city or police command area/division);

a monthly breakdown of instances of hate crime prosecutions by COPFS, between 1 January 2015 and 27 July 2016, where the defendant was found guilty. If possible please specify crime type (i.e. racially-, ethnicity-motivated etc) and location of offence (this could be town/city or police command area/division) or where the case was tried;

a monthly breakdown of instances of hate crime prosecutions by COPFS, between 1 January 2015 and 27 July 2016, where the defendant was found NOT guilty. If possible please specify crime type (i.e. racially-, ethnicity-motivated etc) and location of offence (this could be town/city or police command area/division) or where the case was tried”

I apologise for the delay in providing you with a substantive response however there was a large amount of data involved in this request which has taken time to produce, assess and present.

Firstly, I should explain that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of cases and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate statistical database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes.  Where we do provide information the data provided refers to the number of charges and not the number of persons reported; one of more charge(s) may relate to the same accused person.

The categories of hate crime for which we have provided data are based on the categories referred to in the COPFS publication “Hate Crime in Scotland 2015-2016” which is accessible on the COPFS web-site using the following link.  This publication also contains an explanation of the categories.

Within the attached spreadsheet there are two tables of data provided for each hate crime category. 

The first contains the number of charges reported under a specific category, on a monthly basis between 1 January 2015 and 27 July 2016 with details of the reporting police division as you requested. 

The second contains details of the number of charges where verdicts of found guilty and found not guilty were reached with details of the reporting police division. You should note that the month the verdict relates to is the month the charge was reported and not the month when the accused was found guilty.  This is due to the way the data is held on our electronic system - the date of reporting being a fixed date whereas different accused and different charges within the same case can have several different verdicts and verdict dates.  There are other verdicts recorded which have not been provided and you should be aware that there are a number of charges were proceedings are ongoing and a verdict has yet to be recorded.