Poles living in Aberdeen face greatest amount of prejudice, says report

The Polish Association Aberdeen is located on Union Street
The Polish Association Aberdeen is located on Union Street

A new report has revealed the Polish community is the largest group targeted by prejudice and discrimination in the city.

Figures from the report by the Grampian Racial Equality Council (GREC) show, between April 1 and September 30, the largest group targeted were Poles.

Out of 144 incidents, almost 70% were verbal abuse. The youngest victim was aged eight, and the most elderly was 65.

The youngest perpe-trator was 11, while the oldest was 78.

In 64% of cases the incident was motivated by race, and 19% were linked to sexuality.

Mateusz Lagoda, the president of the Polish Association Aberdeen, said: “We say that we are encouraged by the positive way we have been treated in Scotland and wouldn’t say this is a trend.

“Incidents like this happen, but I would like to believe Aberdeen is really multicultural and a nice place to live.

“There are about 1,020 Polish people living in Aberdeen and they make up a part of the city’s community.

“There can be many reasons why these incidents happen and it could be because of Brexit or the uncertainty. To me, the 144 incidents sounds like it’s less than a third of an incident in a day.

“Our work is to focus on finding the positives and building relation-ships and links with the city.”

Mr Lagoda said his organisation stages events so that cultures can be shared.

The report used data from Police Scotland and figures GREC gathered through its own casework. The majority of perpetrators were found to be of Scottish origin.

Several reports were received through GREC’s own webpage reporting tool about discrimination at primary and secondary schools, where children used racially-aggravated language.