Justice and Safety
The week in review
This week’s round-up includes Ministers’ engagement on violence reduction, policing and accident prevention.
Partnerships in preventing violence
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson delivered the opening address to a violence prevention conference co-hosted by Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit this week.
Delegates from policing, health, wider public services and the third sector also heard from a range of experts discussing issues from the impact of adverse childhood experiences, harms caused by alcohol misuse and more recent and emerging challenges around ‘sextortion’ and attacks involving corrosive substances.
You can catch up on some of the key themes and discussions from the conference on Twitter via the hashtag #vpconference2017
And you can read the Justice Secretary’s remarks on the main Scottish Government website.
On Wednesday Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing visited the Scottish Law Commission in Edinburgh, where she was welcomed by Chair Lord Pentland and Chief Executive Malcolm McMillan.
Ms Ewing, who was shown a range of displays illustrating the Commission’s work of just over 50 years, thanked all of the Commissioners and the SLC’s legal and administrative staff for the independent advice that the Commission provides for Government to improve and update the law of Scotland to fit the needs of society.
Established under the Law Commissions Act 1965 to make recommendations to Government to simplify, modernise and improve Scots law, the Commission has been at the forefront of major changes to Scots law. You can read more about the SLC, including work on its forthcoming draft 10th Programme of Law Reform on the Commission website.
— Scot Law Commission (@scotlawcom) November 29, 2017
Policing across Scotland
In a Parliamentary statement on Wednesday Justice Secretary Michael Matheson updated MSPs on the leadership of Police Scotland and the wider performance of policing across Scotland.
Mr Matheson requested the opportunity to address Parliament having held a series of conversations and meetings since last Friday evening when the Scottish Police Authority suspended an Assistant Chief Constable. The SPA took the decision after the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) brought allegations to its attention, including criminal matters which the Commissioner had been directed to investigate by the Crown Office.
Acknowledging understandable concern, the Cabinet Secretary highlighted measures that had been put in place to strengthen the senior command team in Police Scotland. Mr Matheson told MSPs: “Following the recent suspensions, Deputy Chief Constable Designate Iain Livingstone acted quickly to review his command structure. In doing so, he stated his confidence in the leadership provided by Police Scotland’s officers and staff, reinforcing that leadership exists across all aspects of policing – from his role as the deputy chief constable all the way through the organisation to the police constables serving their local communities. I wholeheartedly support that view.”
You can read the Cabinet Secretary’s full statement on the main Scottish Government website.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson updated MSPs in a Parliamentary Statement on policing in Scotland. Read more here: https://t.co/EdrpQX3EAc #keepingpeoplesafe #justicepriorities pic.twitter.com/CjmutHrliW
— ScotGov Justice (@ScotGovJustice) November 29, 2017
Celebrating bravery in policing
On Thursday Mr Matheson welcomed nominees for the 2017 Scottish Police Federation Bravery awards to the Scottish Parliament, just ahead of the evening ceremony where the winners were announced.
Praising the courage of officers honoured at the awards, Mr Matheson said their heroism “reinforce everything that we have come to expect from officers from Police Scotland”.
You can find out more about the stories of officers’ bravery by viewing the #courageouscops hasthtag on Twitter.
— ScotsPolFed (@ScotsPolFed) November 30, 2017
Preventing serious organised crime
On Thursday the Justice Secretary attended the first Serious Organised Crime Prevention Course for the public sector. The event, hosted at the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, explored on-going work to ensure the public sector continues to build its resilience to serious organised crime in all its shapes and guises.
It's so important that we all work together to tackle serious organised crime. Happy to attend the Multi Agency SOC Prevention Course with @MathesonMichael Cab Sec for Justice in North Lanarkshire this morning. pic.twitter.com/25QkhsOGPE
— Ch Supt Roddy Irvine (@ChSuptIrvine) November 30, 2017
Zero tolerance drink-drive message for festive revellers
Also this week the Justice Secretary joined DCC Iain Livingstone and Police Scotland traffic officers for the launch of the Road Safety Scotland festive awareness campaign, reminding drivers that there is zero tolerance for ‘just one’ drink before driving.
DCC Livingstone said: “Between December last year and January 2017, 625 drivers failed a breath test. It’s disappointing that some drivers are continuing to take unnecessary risks, affecting their own safety and that of other road users.
“Police Scotland has a zero tolerance policy on drink driving and over the festive period we will be increasing our activity to ensure those risk takers are removed from the road. We’re urging people to plan ahead to help keep our roads safe during the party season. Think about how you’re going to get home before you go out, and don’t forget about any journeys you’ll make the morning after.”
Read more about Scotland’s drink-drive limits – the lowest in the UK – and information and resources for getting home safely after your night out on the town on the Don’t Risk It website.
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) December 1, 2017
Ton-up for safety charity
Also this week Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing addressed a reception held at The Hub, Edinburgh to mark the centenary year of family safety charity RoSPA.
Ms Ewing said: “RoSPA has played a pivotal role in accident prevention and safety over the last 100 years. It has successfully driven forward and influenced this important agenda and worked tirelessly on a huge variety of projects and campaigns to champion the prevention of accidents in the home, on the road and at work. RoSPA’s work contributes to the Building Safer Communities aim of reducing the number of unintentional harm incidents, including in and around water, across Scotland, and I would like to congratulate RoSPA on its centenary.”
Read more on the RoSPA website
— RoSPA (@RoSPA) December 1, 2017
Ms Ewing also caught up with Water Safety Scotland as it exhibited in the Scottish Parliament this week, engaging with MSPs from across the political parties on its mission to reduce accidental drownings.
Great Water Safety Scotland exhibition in the Scottish Parliament this week which aims to raise awareness of their work and promote the launch of the National Water Safety Strategy for Scotland @aewingmsp @rospa @RNLI @rlssuk_Scottish @fire_scot @wendywilk23 pic.twitter.com/maAstUMh0p
— Safer Communities (@theBSCprogramme) November 29, 2017
Hiring for Fire
And finally, this week also saw the launch of a new recruitment drive for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service. Find out more on the SFRS website, and remember that applicants can apply up until Monday 18 December 2017. And for a limited time only, click below to see how one man swapped his job as a newsagent for a career with Scotland’s fire and rescue service.
— Timeline (@bbctimeline) November 30, 2017