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Summary: Religion and Crime and Justice

Image of police talking to members of the publicSummary: Religion and Crime and Justice

Religiously aggravated crimes
  • Of charges with religious aggravations reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services (COPFS) in 2016-17, 384 (57%) charges referred to incidents which were derogatory to Roman Catholicism and 165 (25%) were derogatory towards Protestantism.

  • There were 113 charges which referred to conduct which was derogatory to Islam and 23 were derogatory towards Judaism. In comparison, in 2015-16, there were 134 charges which referred to conduct which was derogatory to Islam and 18 were derogatory towards Judaism.

  • Religiously aggravated crime was most commonly reported in Glasgow (30% of all charges). Most of the accused were male (91%) with 41% of all accused between the ages of 16 and 30.

Source: Religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2016-17 (Last updated: June 2017)

  • Offence aggravation data indicate that in 2016-17, 277 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated religious aggravation.

  • Nearly 86% of these were for charges of breach of the peace.

Source: Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2016-17 (Table 13. Last updated: February 2018)


Useful Links

Religion Page

Crime and Justice Page

  • Half of people in custody in 2013-14 were either Church of Scotland (27%) or Roman Catholic (23%).

  • Forty one per cent of people in custody say they do not have a religion.

  • The proportion of ‘no religion’ was higher for female prisoners (57%) than male prisoners (41%).

Source: Prison statistics and population projections Scotland 2013/14 (Published: December 2015)


Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016-17 (March 2018) A large-scale social survey which asks people about their experiences and perceptions of crime. Includes statistics by age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2016-17 (February 2018) Statistics are presented on criminal proceedings concluded in Scottish courts and on a range of measures available as alternatives to prosecution. Covers convictions by age and gender, as well as crimes with disability, racial, religious, sexual orientation, transgender aggravators.

Religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2016-17 (June 2017) Analysis about the nature of the religiously aggravated offending charges, the accused and the victims of incidents. Includes age and gender of the accused

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Religion and Belief Evidence Review (2013) A comprehensive review of available evidence in relation to religion



Scottish Government Survey Data

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey - Scottish Crime and Justice Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

How Fair is Britain?: Report of EHRC first triennial review (EHRC, 2011) This Equality and Human Rights review aims to provide an authoritative compilation of the available evidence about equalities in England, Scotland and Wales against 40 indicators agreed by the Commission, the government and other key agencies. It brings together the facts about the experiences and outcomes in life of different individuals and groups. It draws on a range of sources including censuses, government surveys, academic work, and secondary analysis carried out especially for this Review.

Statistics in more details


Crime & Justice