Scotland / 17-07-2016

2015 Antisemitism report


Scottish Government today released the latest statistics on Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland


In 2015-16, 581 charges were reported with a religious aggravation under section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. This is a slight increase of 3% from the 566 charges reported in 2014-15. Prior to this, religiously aggravated charges had been steadily decreasing from a peak of 896 charges in 2011-12. The figures for the five years prior to 2011-12 were relatively stable, with between 600 and 700 charges reported each year.


These trends may have been influenced in the last four years by the separate use of charges under section 1 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 (OBFTC). This legislation came into force on 1st March 2012, and, among other things, criminalises religious hatred that is connected to football. It may be used instead of section 74 in certain circumstances. There were 50 additional 'religious' charges[1] under this legislation during 2015-16. When all legislation is considered (i.e. when section 74 charges are added to the section 1 and 6, offensive behaviour at football and threatening communications charges) there is a total of 631 charges relating to religious prejudice in Scotland in 2015-16 (a slight increase from 614 (3%) in 2014-15).