Justice and Safety
The week in review
Our weekly round-up is back with the return of the Scottish Parliament following the summer recess.
Victims at the heart of justice reforms
The highlight of the week has been the launch, by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, of the Programme for Government for the new 2018-19 Parliamentary year. As in previous years there was a strong justice reform agenda, both through legislation and wider policy initiatives and investment.
The PfG includes commitments to improve support for victims of crime – among them, developing new support services, giving more victims an opportunity to tell courts about the impact of crimes, improving information for victims and their families around prison release, and consulting on how to make the parole process more open and transparent.
We want improve the experiences of victims and witnesses of crime, including new plans to support engagement between victims and the offender, which we know helps victims and prevents reoffending #ScotPFG https://t.co/Y42VlwVnzU pic.twitter.com/EBfawXh2jc
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) September 4, 2018
Focus on rehabilitation paying off
Also on Tuesday, it emerged that reconviction rates in Scotland have fallen to a 19-year low, underpinning the importance of our investments in desistance and rehabilitation work – both in the community and in prison settings – to challenge and support people with convictions to turn away from offending behaviour and fulfil their potential in supporting their families and contributing to society.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf welcomes continued reduction in reoffending in Scotland – as reconviction rates fall to a 19-year low, helping keep crime down and communities safe: https://t.co/8O1WIxJTMs#smartjustice#rehabilitation#desistance#saferscotland#justicepriorities pic.twitter.com/DQzzlM6aVE
— ScotGov Justice (@ScotGovJustice) September 4, 2018
Blue-light services go green
The First Minister had begun ‘PfG week’ with a visit to the Cambuslang headquarters of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, which is committed to reducing its carbon footprint with plans to introduce up to 100 ultra-low emission Plug-in vehicles.
Ms Sturgeon heard about the efforts of all of Scotland’s blue-light services to invest in more sustainable vehicle fleets, and announced £16.7 million additional Scottish Government funding to help transforming Scotland to a low carbon country.
Impact of miners strike policing on local communities
Also on Monday John Scott QC issued a call for anyone affected by the policing of the 1984-85 miners strike to submit evidence to the independent review on the subject, which was announced in June by the then Justice Secretary Michael Matheson.
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) September 3, 2018
Minister meets ‘Fearless’ ambassadors
On Tuesday morning Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham joined Crimestoppers Scotland to meet the latest ‘Fearless ambassadors’ – school pupils who are promoting the Fearless programme which aims to empower young people to access information and advice about crime and criminality and to help keep themselves and their friends safe.
— Crimestoppers Scotland (@CrimestopSCOT) September 4, 2018
Building resilience and a Fairer Scotland in the face of childhood adversity
A few hours after Tuesday’s PfG launch in the Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney delivered the Apex Lecture, where he outlined the Scottish Government’s commitment to building a fairer Scotland and the critical role of understanding childhood adversity in the development of policy across the portfolios, including through our justice reforms. Find out more about the connections between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), personal resilience and crime from a short summary PDF, recently prepared by Scottish Government analysts.
— John Swinney (@JohnSwinney) September 4, 2018
Scottish Police Memorial Service
On Wednesday the Justice Secretary addressed the gathering of the Scottish Police Memorial Service of Remembrance at Scotland’s Police College, Tulliallan. This was the 15th annual Scottish commemoration to honour those police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) September 5, 2018
‘Promising’ findings from problem-solving court pilot
Also this week the Community Safety Minister attended the launch of a research report into the ‘Aberdeen Problem-Solving Approach’, which aims to reduce the use of custodial sentences and cut re-offending by addressing underlying problems linked with persistent offending. Read on the University of Stirling website.
Today Community Safety Minister @ashtenRD launched a new report into Aberdeen Sheriff Court's innovative approach to tackling repeat offending and helping people caught in the cycle.
— ScotGov Justice (@ScotGovJustice) September 5, 2018