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Number of racist incidents increase by 10%

The number of recorded racist incidents in Scotland rose by about 10% in a year.

The total grew to 5349 in 2011-12, up from 4877 in the previous year, it was revealed in the latest annual Scottish policing performance framework report.

The total is slightly less than the 5357 recorded in 2007-8, the first year the report was published.

Crimes with an element of racial motivation were also higher at 6622 in 2011-12, up from 6109 in the previous year and at a five-year high.

More people are confident a complaint about racism will be taken seriously by police, the Scottish Government said.

The report brings together a range of statistics, some already pub-lished, on crime, detection and how police respond to the public.

It showed recorded crime fell 3% from 322,285 in 2010-11 to 314,091 last year, continuing a downward annual trend from 385,395 in 2007-8.

The number of offenders convicted of a further sexual or violent offence increased from 39 to 68.

Anti-social behaviour was down, as were the number of crimes committed by young people aged between eight and 17.

The number of young people who were found to have committed a crime or offence also dropped, from 41,476 in 2010-11 to 37,779 last year, a four-year low.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Scottish policing is performing well. Today's report highlights the continued fall in recorded crime rates and I also welcome statistics showing the number of detected crimes by young people continues to drop."

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