Hate crimes fall at Scottish football matches

Police jacket Falls have been recorded in the number of sectarian incidents

Related Stories

The number of sectarian incidents recorded at Scottish football matches fell by 40% last season, according to Crown Office figures.

The total number of offences, under new legislation which criminalised religious hatred connected to football, dropped from 267 to 203 in 2013/14.

Officials said this may account for a 15% drop in all offences with a religious aggravation.

The figure of 587 was down from 689 the previous year and 898 in 2011/12.

The totals for the preceding five years were relatively stable, with between 600 and 700 charges reported each year.

In 51% of the football-related cases, the accused was affiliated with either Rangers or Celtic.

'Small minority'

In all, there were 635 charges relating to religious prejudice in Scotland when general offences of religious hatred were added to those under the new legislation - the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

That was a 17% reduction on the previous 12 months.

Start Quote

We are not becoming more intolerant as a society, but we are becoming less tolerant of those who hold prejudiced beliefs”

End Quote Shona Robison Equalities Secretary

The government said it was committed to review the football legislation after two years, but said the figures showed strong action was being taken to tackle the actions of the "small minority" of fans who indulge in offensive behaviour at matches.

As in previous years, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism were most often the religions that were the subject of abuse.

There was an increase in the proportion of charges which related to Catholicism - from 57% in 2012/13 to 63% in the subsequent 12 months - although the number of offences fell.

Offences relating to Protestantism remained steady at 29% - also with a reduced number.

In 29% per cent of the incidents, the accused had affiliations with Rangers. Celtic fans accounted for 22%.

More than a quarter (28%) referred to support for terrorist organisations.

Advisory group

The legislation has proved controversial with football clubs and fans who have complained it does not specify exactly what constitutes offensive behaviour, including which songs or chants could contravene the law.

Religious hate crimes fell by 17% overall, which ministers said was testament to hard work taking place to tackle these offences.

The government said it had invested £9m between 2012 and 2015 in community projects and set up an independent advisory group to tackle the scourge of sectarianism.

The statistics also revealed rises in sexual orientation aggravated crime, which were up by up 22%; disability aggravated offences, which increased by 12%; and charges with an aggravation of transgender identity. However, in each case the numbers involved were low.

Hate crimes

Equalities Secretary Shona Robison condemned those increases and said an awareness campaign had been launched to encourage reporting of such crimes, which included the establishment of third party reporting centres across Scotland.

"No-one should have to face discrimination or prejudice in any form in 21st Century Scotland," she said.

"The more we talk about it, the easier it will be for people to report hate crimes to the authorities.

"We are not becoming more intolerant as a society, but we are becoming less tolerant of those who hold prejudiced beliefs."

Jan Savage, head of campaigns and policy at the charity Enable Scotland said the rise in offences against disabled people was disappointing.

But she said: "More and more disabled people are exercising their rights to report hate crimes and reclaim their communities and the right to feel safe.

"What this also tells us is that there is a real need to tackle the root causes of disability related hate crime, and work harder to change attitudes about disability."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    Are football managers overpaid? BBC Radio Scotland

    tweets: Caller Chris in Aberdeen had his say on Morning Call - he thinks footballers and managers get too much money. Do you agree?

    Let us know what you think: email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  2.  
    10:38: Rangers AGM latest Richard Wilson BBC Scotland

    tweets: Somers drowned out by booing and further shouts of "out, out"

     
  3.  
    10:33: Ferry disruption BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Due to high winds forecast, CalMac services from Oban, Fionnphort, Berneray and Mallaig are currently disrupted.

    CalMac

    Check the CalMac site to see if your service is affected.

     
  4.  
    10:29: Firefighters rescue 42 from flooded Asda

    Firefighters have rescued 42 people who were stranded by floodwater at a supermarket in East Ayrshire.

    dinghhy

    The Asda at Queen's Drive Retail Park, Kilmarnock, was surrounded by water after the River Irvine burst its banks.

    Fire crews were dispatched from Glasgow and Ayrshire after staff alerted the emergency services at 06:12.

    A rigid inflatable boat was used to take 40 adults and two children from the store. They were checked by paramedics but no-one was injured.

     
  5.  
    Text 80295 10:20: Ally McCoist - Your views

    Anon, Inverness: I do not follow football but are you saying that McCoist hands in his notice and his EMPLOYERS pay him wages in lieu of notice? I wish I had a job which I could give up AND get my employers to pay me for a year.

    Jack, Edinburgh: Given half a chance Rangers and Celtic would be playing in England. They do not give a stuff about the health of Scottish football.

    Joe, Fife: Ally is picking the pockets of ordinary people who can ill afford tickets to see Rangers. Managerially he is a disaster and would have been dismissed for under performance in any other walk of life. Ally has had a charmed life characterised by pay massively in excess of his limited talents - paid for by under privileged fans. Shocking.

     
  6.  
    10:08: Travel disruption BBC Scotland Travel Latest
    • Perth and Kinross - C423 is closed at Aberbothrie due to flooding.
    • Accident around a mile north of junction 20 - the Eaglesfield junction - of the northbound A74(M) means the road is closed at the scene.
    • ScotRail - possible disruption between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley following flooding at Addiewell, although all lines have now re-opened.
    • Trains between Dumfries and Kilmarnock cancelled due to flooding at Mauchline. Replacement transport has been arranged.
    • Airports in London are warning of possible disruption to flights due to of high winds. Check with your airline.
     
  7.  
    09:49: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Southern and central areas will be cloudy with further outbreaks of rain, which will be heavy at times especially across Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway where there is a continued risk of flooding.

    A brighter day further north, with showers in the north west and Northern Isles turning wintry on the hills, while much of the north east will stay dry with some sunshine.

    During the afternoon, Argyll and the central belt will become drier.

    A mild day in the south with temperatures up to 10C but colder in the north.

     
  8.  
    09:35: River search

    A major search and rescue operation is continuing along the banks of the River Nith in Dumfries.

    River Nith

    It follows reports of a man having gone into the water close to the Nithsdale Rowing Club boathouse.

    The alarm was raised in the early hours.

    The operation has involved a Royal Navy helicopter, the Nith Inshore lifeboat team, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland.

     
  9.  
    09:26: Rangers share issue plan

    Rangers hope to be given the go-ahead to launch a new share issue at the club's AGM today.

    Rangers chairman David Somers

    Chairman David Somers will read a statement in which he will say fund-raising efforts in 2014 fell short of the amount the club had hoped for.

    "We are requesting permission to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the club," Somers' statement reads.

    Rangers had asked existing shareholders for fresh investment in the past year.

     
  10.  
    09:11: Flooding strands 35 in supermarket

    Firefighters said 35 people have been stranded in a supermarket by floodwater after a river burst its banks.

    queens drive kilmarnock

    Water rescue crews are in attendance at the Asda supermarket in Queen's Drive, Kilmarnock, where members of staff and customers are stranded by floodwater.

    The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said there were no injuries to report.

    Emergency services have been working through the night to tackle several incidents of serious flooding after heavy rain in Ayrshire.

    The Queen's Drive Retail Park was flooded after the River Irvine burst its banks.

     
  11.  
    09:00: Meet RoboCyclist David Miller BBC Scotland transport correspondent

    On a bitterly cold winter's day, I am sitting on a bench in Edinburgh's Inverleith Park having a curious device designed to monitor my stress levels fitted to my head.

    David Miller

    I'm already wearing Google Glass and I'm beginning to feel like Scotland's uncool answer to RoboCop. In a hi-vis jacket.

    But there's a good reason for my ignominy.

    I'm about to take part in research designed to find ways of increasing confidence amongst reluctant cyclists.

     
  12.  
    08:54: Treasure hunter Rachel Massie BBC Scotland reporter

    Metal detectorist Alistair McPherson has a nose for finding treasure.

    Alistair McPherson

    "I seem to have a third sense when it comes to fields", he said.

    "Several of my friends call me The Magnet."

    Together with a team of archaeologists, Mr McPherson discovered a hoard of Roman and Pictish silver in a farmer's field. It has been hailed as the most northern of its kind in Europe.

     
  13.  
    Rangers AGM Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    #Rangers chairman: taken 1st steps to effective engagement w fan base. "I think that we'd all agree we still have work to do in this area"

     
  14.  
    Morning Call

    BBC Radio Scotland tweets: On Morning Call from 0850 with @kayeadams.

    Morning Call graphic
     
  15.  
    A720 queues

    Traffic Scotland tweets: #edintravel: #A720 W/B Baberton to Dreghorn - traffic very heavy due to possible RTC. More info to follow #planahead

    traffic
     
  16.  
    08:30: On the back pages

    Billy Davies is in the frame for the Rangers job, while one Celtic defender could be on his way out of Parkhead.

    Billy Davies

    Check out all the latest sports gossip.

     
  17.  
    08:21: We will remember them Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Thirty-one Scottish international rugby players died in World War One, more than any other country. Discover their story.

    Scotland rugby team from 1914
     
  18.  
    08:17: Motorway crash death

    Police confirm that a woman died in the crash on the A74 (M) this morning. The road remains closed.

    They are also looking for a man who was given a lift north from the scene of the crash to the motorway services at Johnstonebridge.

    He may have a head injury.

    Police said the man was about 30, of Asian appearance, about 6ft tall with dark hair and long sideburns.

    The man was last seen at the petrol pumps and then the main building at the services between 06:00 and 06:30 hours.

     
  19.  
    08:14: Lockerbie guilt

    Over the weekend, Scotland's top prosecutor Frank Mulholland said he continued to believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty of carrying out the Lockerbie bombing 26 years ago. He was responding to pressure from those who think the case against the Libyan was flawed.

    Lockerbie bombing

    Frank Duggan, the president of the Victims of Pan AM Flight 103, told Good Morning Scotland that the US victims of the atrocity were not as concerned by these "conspiracy mavens".

    He said: "One of the reasons that does not trouble us here in the United States is that that view is simply not credible."

    He added: "We know there are people there (in the UK) who are like a dog with a bone. No matter how much evidence is presented to show that this man was guilty they are not going to change their position and that is not going to affect us one way or the other."

     
  20.  
    Rangers AGM Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    #Rangers chairman David Somers to spell out need for cost-cutting at AGM today. His speech has conspicuous lack of thanks to Ally McCoist

     
  21.  
    08:00: Today's papers

    Many of today's newspaper front pages feature the story of Ally McCoist, who has left his job as Rangers manager and has been put on gardening leave for the next year.

    composite

    The Scottish Sun headlines the story "Ally put out to grass".

    The Daily Record leads with the story of a foodbank over Christmas, while the Scottish Daily Mail highlights the last minute dash of shoppers for the festive season.

     
  22.  
    07:54: Doctor training

    BMA chairman Dr Peter Bennie told Good Morning Scotland that new proposals were expected soon on the training of junior doctors.

    He said: "We've yet to see exactly what will come out of that but the current proposals would lead to junior doctors training for a shorter period of time that they do just now and therefore to consultants having less experience and less breadth than they do just now.

    "That has an obvious knock-on effect for patient care."

     
  23.  
    07:44: One dead in M74 crash

    One person has died in a two-vehicle crash on the M74 motorway in Dumfriesshire, police have said.

    The collision involved a car and a van on the northbound carriageway between junction 20 Eaglesfield and junction 19 Ecclefechan.

    The motorway was closed in the area of the accident at about 06:30 and traffic was being diverted on to the B7076.

    Police were appealing for witnesses.

     
  24.  
    07:43: Rangers latest Chris McLaughlin BBC Sport

    Covering Rangers, you learn to expect the unexpected. I think most people though expected this.

    Ally McCoist

    McCoist handed in his resignation last Friday and was then told by the board that he can work his 12-month notice period but I understand he was called into a meeting at Ibrox last night and the chief executive and former managing director of Newcastle FC Derek Llambias basically told him things couldn't carry on and he was being put on gardening leave.

    It means he will be paid until his contract runs out and his assistant Kenny McDowall is now in charge until the end of the season.

     
  25.  
    07:32: NHS targets

    BMA chairman Dr Peter Bennie told BBC radio's Good Morning Scotland that "targets" for the NHS measured "whatever is in the target rather than necessarily the quality of patient care".

    He said: "For example, the target for maximum four-hour waits in A&E puts the pressure on to move patients out of A&E and into the main part of the hospital. However, that does not cover what happens thereafter.

    "For some of those patients they would have been better treated if they could have stayed a little longer in A&E, got all the necessary results and gone home again."

     
  26.  
    07:20: More apprentices needed

    Scottish construction firms have called for increased funding to help recruit and train more apprentices.

    bricks

    The Scottish Building Federation (SBF) said employers had highlighted critical skills shortages in a number of key trades and managerial positions.

    They were raised in the group's latest quarterly Construction Monitor, which also found industry confidence at its highest since the survey began in 2008.

    SBF said it was now time to review funding for recruitment and training.

     
  27.  
    07:14: McCoist leaves Rangers

    Last night, it emerged Ally McCoist has left his position as Rangers manager and the Scottish Championship club said he is now "on gardening leave".

    Ally McCoist

    The 52-year-old handed in his resignation earlier this month and had started his 12-month notice period.

    McCoist remained in charge of the team for the defeat by Queen of the South and Saturday's win against Livingston.

    A club statement said assistant manager Kenny McDowall (pictured left) will take over as manager until the end of the season.

     
  28.  
    07:08: 'Real change' needed in NHS

    The body that represents doctors has said real change is needed to tackle the challenges facing the NHS in Scotland.

    hospital ward

    Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said the health service must learn from past "mistakes and missed opportunities".

    He said there had been huge reliance on the goodwill of staff, but that this was not a sustainable solution.

    The Scottish government said it agreed that the way health and social care is delivered in Scotland must change.

     
  29.  
    07:01: Rise and shine Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Good morning, and welcome to today's Scotland Live blog. We will bring you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel throughout the day.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.