Justice and Safety

The week in review

June 22, 2018 by No Comments

The week’s round-up includes praise for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service response to the Glasgow School of Art fire, the announcement of an independent review of Police Conduct and complaints handling processes, and the Cabinet Secretary’s welcome for the introduction of Offensive Weapons legislation at Westminster.

Glasgow School of Art fire – Services response

On Tuesday Minister for Community Safety Annabelle Ewing met with Scottish Fire & Rescue Service officers DCO Iain Bushell and DACO Peter Heath to view the aftermath of the weekend’s devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art and surrounding buildings.  Both officers were part of efforts to tackle the blaze.

Read the First Minister’s response to the fire at the Glasgow School of Art online.

Offensive Weapons Bill

Under-18s will face tough new curbs on buying knives online following the introduction of the Offensive Weapons Bill.

If passed, the bill will mean online retailers will not be allowed to sell knives online without rigorous age-verification, and no longer able to deliver knives to residential addresses or drop-off points.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“We are resolute in our determination to tackle violent crime, and this bill, on which we have engaged closely with the UK Government, ensures we are going further to prevent incidents with offensive weapons from happening in the first place, as well as future-proofing the law.

“Possession of offensive weapons was down 69% from 2006 to 2016, and we are continuing to work with schools and local authorities on anti-violence campaigns to reduce incidents further.”

Read more on the main Scottish Government website.

Serious Organised Crime conference

On Thursday Michael Matheson addressed the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce’s conference at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, which was also attended by people whose communities are affected by organised crime. You can read more about the key issues on the Taskforce Twitter feed.

Police Conduct Review

Former Lord Advocate Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini QC is to review the processes for handling complaints against the police and investigating serious incidents and alleged misconduct.

The independent review, jointly commissioned by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, will assess the current framework and report on the effectiveness of structures, operational responsibilities and processes.

Mr Matheson said:

“The review will seek to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear, agreed protocols will balance transparency with appropriate levels of confidentiality, and that the processes are fair, transparent, accountable and proportionate, upholding fundamental human rights.”

Read more on the main Scottish Government website.

Cashback for Communities

This week BBC Scotland broadcast the first in a series of features marking the ten year anniversary of our CashBack for Communities scheme.  CashBack projects use ill-gotten gains of criminals to help create safer communities by supporting young people to enjoy a range of positive activities, including diverting some away from engaging in potentially antisocial or potentially even criminal behaviour.

Since 2008 the Scottish Government has committed over £92 million to Cashback for Communities. More information can be found on the CashBack for Communities website.

The video below focuses on Joe Mearns, who has achieved a life goal by becoming a football coach, aided by CashBack.

You can also watch the BBC Scotland Timeline feature on Cashback – 19 minutes in – for a limited time on BBC  iPlayer.

Youth Justice Conference

On Thursday Michael Matheson addressed more than 200 youth justice practitioners on the second day of the annual Youth Justice conference in Stirling. The Deputy First Minister John Swinney had joined delegates the previous day.

Water Safety roundtable

On Wednesday Annabelle Ewing hosted a Water Safety ministerial round-table event at Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Headquarters, where key representatives from community safety and from sporting organisations discussed ways to increase awareness of, and improve water safety.


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