Justice and Safety

The week in review

November 3, 2018 by No Comments | Category Round-up

This week’s round up includes new investment to support child and vulnerable witnesses, latest official figures for homicide in Scotland, and ministerial engagements with a range of justice system professionals.

Supporting child and vulnerable witnesses

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has announced £950,000 to improve evidence facilities for children and vulnerable adults.

The new Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service (SCTS) Centre for Child and Vulnerable Witnesses, opening in Glasgow next year, will increase opportunities for pre-recording evidence, particularly for the most serious criminal cases. This supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the experience of victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system.

The new hearings suite, situated centrally in the city close to a range of transport links, will mean children and vulnerable people can be supported to give their best evidence in a safe and secure environment – helping ensure fewer children must attend court to give evidence during criminal trials.  Read more on the main Scottish Government website.

Murder and culpable homicide cases fall again

The number of homicides in Scotland has reduced significantly over the last ten years, according to official National Statistics published this week.

The number of cases of homicide (either murder or common law culpable homicide) has fallen from 97 in 2008-9 to 59 in 2017-18.

The bulletin also presents victim and accused data, the circumstances associated with the homicide, and additional details relating to the method, motive and relationship between the victim and the accused.

Find Humza Yousaf’s response to figures on the blog here or read the Justice Secretary’s comment article in the Scotsman newspaper, linked below.

Visit to Scotland’s largest prison

On Wednesday the Justice Secretary visited Scotland’s largest prison, HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow. Mr Yousaf met the Governor, managers and prison officers, as well as speaking with a number of inmates.

The Cabinet Secretary addressed prison officers at the Prison Officers’ Association annual conference in Peebles the following day. Mr Yousaf thanked them for all of their work to keep Scotland’s prisons running and their contribution to keeping communities safe through work to support rehabilitation and desistance.

E-monitoring to help rehabilitate and safeguard public

On Thursday evening Mr Yousaf visited one of G4S’ Electronic Monitoring Control Centres, where he met with staff and was given a hands-on demonstration of how tags operate.

Cashback makes impact across Scotland

The transformative impact of CashBack for Communities projects, funded by the proceeds of crime, have been outlined in a series of annual reports and evaluations published this week.  The reports were prepared by partner organisations who have been delivering a range of activities from diversionary youth work to projects providing opportunities to get into employment, education, or volunteering.

Since 2008, £92 million has been committed to community initiatives to improve the quality of life of young people right across Scotland, with Phase 4 of CashBack having placed an increased emphasis on helping tackle inequalities – raising the attainment, ambition and aspirations of young people who face disadvantage.

The annual reports and evaluations for the first year of Phase 4 can be read on the Cashback for Communities website.

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