The Human Cost of Brexit (Safety)
In an online roundtable discussion, members of community groups and third & public sector organisations reflected on Brexit’s impact on EU citizens in North East Scotland. Six speakers presented diverse perspectives and more than 65 people attended the discussion that followed, raising the concerns of local communities.
Though participants did not directly describe experiences of hate crime and prejudice, they did highlight that their sense of hostility at an interpersonal level increased due to Brexit, as well as feeling unwelcomed and not belonging. Some community members had stopped using languages other than English outside their homes to prevent being targeted.
Data Source: 2021: Shared Futures and No Recourse North East. Link.
Aberdeenshire Council Research (Safety)
While data was not collected on participant ethnicity in the Community Survey or Citizens’ Panel Survey, both found that participants knew people in Aberdeenshire who had experienced prejudice, discrimination or harassment (66% and 39%). A smaller proportion (38% and 22%) had experienced prejudice, discrimination or harassment themselves.
In ‘Community Conversations,’ participants were generally positive about safety in Aberdeenshire, despite being aware of a few negative incidents. One New Scot had been subject to name calling but this was resolved by talking with the person who had targeted them. More broadly, participants identified a number of groups who may not feel safe because of a protected characteristic – women, the elderly, and those who live rurally. Notably, this did not include ethnic minorities.
Data Source: 2021: Aberdeenshire Council Equality Outcomes, Interim Engagement Analysis. Link.
Aberdeen Equality Outcomes Consultation (Safety)
During August and September 2020, GREC conducted a survey to gather feedback from people with protected characteristics to feed into Aerdeen City Council’s Equality Outcomes. The survey was complemented by a series of focus groups held in October and November. In total, over 200 people took part.
Between 2017-2020, half of ethnic minority participants in the survey experienced racist prejudice or hate crime, including incidents of online abuse, in-person verbal abuse, inappropriate ‘jokes,’ threats, vandalism, being refused a service, being spat at, and being physically assaulted. Several participants also highlighted the significance of ‘microaggressions,’ where frequent, low-level comments and behaviours have a serious cumulative effect.
Most incidents were not reported, largely because participants felt they were not worth reporting, because they felt they would not be taken seriously, or because they did not want to “make a fuss”. 20% of participants did not know how to report an incident, and 17% felt that reporting was too complicated or difficult. Other reasons for not reporting were fear of retribution (25%), including from work colleagues or managers, discomfort speaking with the police (9%), language issues (5%). A significant number also commented that reporting multiple incidents would be impractical or demoralising – even if they were taken seriously. For example, “When small things happen so frequently you just accept it. Plus, racial gaslighting where white people tell you you’re too sensitive, it’s not racism, if you don’t like it leave, etc.”
GREC Research (Safety)
The following research is summarised below:
- ‘Life in Aberdeen’ and ‘Life in Aberdeenshire’ Surveys, 2018
- ‘Creating a Fairer and More Equal Aberdeen,’ 2016-17
In the 2018 research, a similar proportion of ethnic minority and Scottish/British participants felt their neighbourhoods were safe places to live: 89.5% and 86.3%, respectively. There were similar findings in the 2016-17 research: more than three-quarters of both Scottish/British and ethnic minority participants agreed that Aberdeen is a safe city.
Data Source: 2018: GREC. Link.