Creating accessible services

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

7. Creating accessible services

7.11 Community safety services

It is important to think carefully about how to keep migrants safe within their communities.   A report commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2009 found that there was very little evidence about criminal activity undertaken by migrants in Scotland.  Knowledge of criminal activity against migrants is even more limited.  However, research suggests migrants can be victims of hate crime, breaches of employment law and human trafficking.  Research in England found that migrants were more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.  The focus should therefore be on how to ensure that migrants are safe and can report crime when necessary.

Police Scotland is clearly a key partner in community safety, for all community planning partnerships.  Police Scotland has produced equality outcomes which set out the priority equality issues it wishes to tackle.  Raising awareness and reporting levels of hate crime is one of these top priorities.  

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In Scotland, hate crime can be reported to the police online, at any police station, by phone, or at a network of third party reporting centres.  Local authorities, community planning partners and Police Scotland have worked closely to develop a network of third party reporting centres where people can be supported to report a crime.  In addition, people can also report hate crime at any local authority office. 

Police Scotland is also strongly committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse workforce.  In many areas, Police Scotland have assigned officers to work with migrant communities.  It also undertakes a high level of community engagement work, building links with migrant communities.  In some cases, experiences of policing approaches in other countries can make migrants less likely to approach the police in Scotland.