Racial crimes rise by almost double!

Dumfries Sheriff Court where an increase of almost 100 per cent in racial crime has been dealt with.
Dumfries Sheriff Court where an increase of almost 100 per cent in racial crime has been dealt with.

It may come across as a friendly, generous and welcoming part of Scotland, but for Dumfries and Galloway, tensions appear to be simmering under the surface.

And, the MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, Finlay Carson, has publicly expressed his concern after racially aggravated crimes at Dumfries Sheriff Court almost doubled in just 12 months.

Statistics show that there were 53 charges reported at Dumfries in 2017/18 in relation to racial crimes, while the 2016/17 figures recorded only 27.

Mr Carson has described the sharp rise as “worrying” and called for closer working to understand the reasons behind the increase.

Commenting Mr Carson said: “For the number of racially aggravated crimes to almost double in just a year at Dumfries Sheriff Court, is very worrying indeed.

“We had seen a sharp fall in recent years, but unfortunately last year’s figures show that trend has not continued.

“Any victim of a racially aggravated crime will feel the lasting effects and there must continue to be a zero tolerance approach.

“I hope that with everyone working closely together, we will see a reduction in the number of racial crimes at Dumfries Sheriff Court in 2018/19.”

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is committed to tackling hate crime. Crime motivated by hatred is not only a wrong against the individual, but is an affront to our collective values as a community, creating division and fear. That is why we treat it so seriously.

“People who live in Scotland, regardless of circumstances, can be assured that they live in a just society and will be protected from all crime.”