Justice & Safety
The week in review
look back on developments across the justice and safer communities portfolio.
Paying back to society
The Justice Secretary opened a newly refurbished Restorative Justice centre in Bellshill on Thursday, hearing first-hand how being given Community Payback Orders (CPOs) has helped people get their lives back on track – while carrying out unpaid work that benefits local areas.
At the same time he published the annual summary of how CPOs are carried out across Scotland, which showed more than 1.2 million hours of work were reported in 2015/16.
International fight against crime
The Justice Secretary and Lord Advocate James Wolffe visited Police Scotland’s International Assistance Unit (IAU) on Monday to meet officers on the frontline of Scotland’s global policing operation.
The IAU was responsible for the arrests of 78 people on Europol’s wanted list in 2016, oversaw the extradition of 71 people wanted by EU member states and the arrest of 23 Scots abroad who were wanted at home.
Both Mr Matheson and Mr Wolffe emphasised the importance of maintaining current levels of European law enforcement cooperation.
Serious Organised Crime Taskforce
The IAU visit came ahead of the regular meeting of the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce, at the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh. Mr Matheson and Mr Wolffe met with taskforce partners including Police Scotland to discuss efforts to tackle serious organised crime in Scotland. This included updates on the four main strands of the taskforce – Divert, Deter, Detect and Disrupt.
National standards have been commissioned for how forensic medical examinations of rape and sexual assault victims are carried out. Healthcare Improvement Scotland will produce the standards, which will ensure best practice is applied across the country.Dr Louise Scott, a doctor in Stornoway (pictured), has shared her support.
Meanwhile a new survey has issued to female doctors to find out what more can be done to encourage them to get involved in forensic examination of sexual assault victims.
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, took part in the travelling Cabinet in Pitlochry on Monday. A public meeting by the Scottish Cabinet focussed on the rural economy – including the success in connecting more than 700,000 homes and businesses to fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
And finally . . .
The Scottish Government is supporting Sexual Abuse & Awareness Week. Running from February 6-12, it highlights the need to raise awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence, and how to prevent it. Check out social media activity on Twitter using hashtag #ItsNotOK