On Friday, the Scottish government released a new report, Religiously Aggravated Offending In Scotland 2011-12. The Executive Summary says in part:
There has been an increase in the number of recorded religious aggravation charges in 2011-12 compared with previous years. For this report, 876 charges with a religious aggravation reported in 2011-12 were analysed, compared with 693 charges in 2010-11. This is an increase of 26%..... [T]his increase may be partly due to increased awareness, reporting and recording of these crimes....
Although the number of football-related charges rose in the last year by 16% (from 231 to 267) the proportion went down from 33% to 31% of charges. The number of charges occurring in football stadiums also decreased from 90 (13%) to 67 (8%). This reduction in charges may in part be explained by the increased focus on football-policing and supporter conduct through the work of the Joint Action Group on Football, established in 2011.
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism were most often the religions that were the subject of abuse. The proportional spread of the religions that were targeted was similar to the previous year: 57.7% in 2010-11 and 58.1% in 2011-12 for Roman Catholicism; and 36.5% in 2010-11 and 40.3% in 2011-12 for Protestantism.
Police officers were the most common target of religiously aggravated offending, in over half (51%) of all charges.