Racism

General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 2nd December 2004.

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Photo of Mike Pringle Mike Pringle Liberal Democrat 2:00 pm, 2nd December 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to reduce racially motivated attacks in Edinburgh. (S2O-4317)

Photo of Hugh Henry Hugh Henry Labour

Racially motivated attacks have no place in today's Scotland. We are committed to challenging racism, whatever form it takes and wherever in Scotland it occurs. Where cases are reported, the Lord Advocate has made clear his desire to see the police and procurators fiscal improve the prosecution of race crimes. The police and other agencies across Scotland are also working hard to reassure and support all our communities.

Photo of Mike Pringle Mike Pringle Liberal Democrat

Recent reports have shown a 30 per cent increase in recorded racial attacks in the capital. Does the minister agree that, in light of recent press coverage, the media have a responsibility to ensure that they do not encourage or inflame racial prejudices?

Photo of Hugh Henry Hugh Henry Labour

Everyone has that responsibility. Members of the Parliament have a responsibility to be careful in what they do and say to ensure that they do not inflame racial prejudice. Members of the public should take particular care about what they say or do and should try to avoid offence or stirring up racial prejudice. Equally, members of the media of whatever form should be careful in what they report so that unintended slight does not occur, words are not misconstrued and people do not suffer as a result. We all need to think very carefully about what we say or do. We need to think carefully about our responsibilities to other members of our society.