Justice and Safety

The week in review

September 15, 2018 by No Comments

This week’s round-up includes the development of a comprehensive support service for families of homicide victims, the fifth annual performance review of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, and a Parliamentary reception celebrating the contribution of Police Scotland Youth Volunteers to communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

MSPs explore Brexit impact on policing and justice system

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf and Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC gave evidence to MSPs on Tuesday as the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee continued taking evidence on the potential implications of leaving the European Union for Scotland’s justice system and policing.

You can read the full transcript of the session on the Parliament’s Official Report, or watch the video of proceedings below.

Human Trafficking in the spotlight

Also on Tuesday a report by the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group highlighted Scotland’s victim-centred policies and strategic approach to child-trafficking. The following day the Justice Secretary addressed Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking conference at the Police College, Tulliallan.  Delegates also heard how the national force’s specialist human trafficking unit is bringing a high level of expertise and investigative techniques to identify victims and perpetrators.  Later in the week Police Scotland released details of an operation, launched in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Friday, which resulted in the rescue of ten women and two arrests in connection with alleged human trafficking offences.

Fire & Rescue performance review

On Wednesday Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham chaired the fifth annual performance review of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.  Speaking ahead of the public event, in Dundee, Ms Denham said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s continued commitment to prevention, protection and response has played an important part in the decrease in the total number of fires in Scotland over the last decade.”

Supporting families of homicide victims

The Justice Secretary this week met Lynn Burns, whose son Sam was murdered in Ayrshire in 2013, and Victim Support Scotland Chief Executive Kate Wallace to discuss the on-going development of a new comprehensive support service for the families of homicide victims in Scotland.  The service is part of a package of measures, building on reforms of recent years, to improve the experience of victims and witnesses through the justice system. Lynn is closely involved in the design of the new homicide support service and spoke about it this week, in the video below.

Police Service Youth Volunteers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Chief Contable Iain Livingstone were among those paying tribute to Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) at a Parliamentary reception on Wednesday evening.  Mr Yousaf, who hosted the event, also played the role of David Dimbleby during a ‘Question Time’ session towards the end of the reception – highlighting the volunteers’ contribution to their communities, and further plans for the PSYV scheme.

You can watch a video of the event and find more information about the PSYV on their Facebook page – or read Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins’ article in the Herald about the positive impact the service has been making right across Scotland in just its first four years.

Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland

The Justice Secretary and the Minister for Community have continued meetings, begun during summer recess, with key figures in Scotland’s justice system and other community safety and wider public sector partners. Among this week’s ministerial engagements was a joint meeting with Nicola Gordon, the chairing member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS).

The Board is an advisory non-departmental public body, established under the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. It is responsible for making recommendations to Scottish Ministers for appointment to judicial office based on merit. You can find out more about the Board’s role on the recently re-designed JABS website.


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