ANTI-racism initiatives have failed to reduce abuse in Scotland, according to an Edinburgh University study.

More than one-third of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities have experienced discrimination within the past two years, the research reveals.

Professor Nasar Meer, of the School of Social and Political Science at Edinburgh University, recorded a “persistent trend” of discrimination, and confidence in the ability of institutions to tackle it is falling. He said: “This survey builds on others in previous years and points to a persistent trend of racial discrimination of black and ethnic minority Scots.”

Meer’s team asked a representative sample of more than 500 people from minority ethnic communities about discrimination at work and in daily life.

Of those who had experienced discrimination, 35% said it had happened on public transport and 20% while accessing healthcare.

One quarter said it had happened when applying for a job, while 18% said it had affected their promotion and equal pay chances. Almost 90% of those who had experienced discrimination thought this was because of their perceived ethnicity, while 66% felt it was also based on their perceived religion.

At 37%, more people from black African Caribbean heritage reported instances of discrimination than other groups, though this was only slightly lower for those with Asian backgrounds (35%).

And 24% of people with mixed heritage said they had experienced discrimination in Scotland in the past two years.

Half of those affected said they had not reported incidents of discrimination, down from 60% in previous years.

While 42% agreed the Scottish Government is doing enough on the issue, this is down from more than 50% recorded previously. Confidence in the law was also lower than in previous years.

Meer said: “It is encouraging that black and ethnic minority Scots still have faith in Scottish institutions to tackle racism, but this trust has decreased over time.”

The Scottish Government said it will “continue to take decisive action” on racism and discrimination, highlighting a campaign with Police Scotland to tackle hate crime. A spokesman said: “Our Race Equality Action Plan outlines more than 120 actions we are taking over the course of this Parliament to secure better outcomes for minority ethnic communities in Scotland.”

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, chair of Holyrood’s cross-party group on Islamophobia, said the research shows how much work we still have to do”.