What's been happening?
We’ve uploaded a series of blogs this month from colleagues and partners. You can find links and a short description of each blog below:
The latest Safer Communities and Justice Brief is now available from our Statistics Page
A guest blog by Jennifer Henderson, Home Safety Officer, RoSPA Scotland
I focus on safety inside the home as, it may come as a surprise to you, more people die in home accidents each year than they do on the road. Many accidents happen behind closed doors so part of my job is raising awareness on the accidents that are happening and doing what I can to make sure people know about them.
Everyone can be prone to having an accident but the most vulnerable are children under five and older people. Each month I will bring to you a different aspect of home safety and with a few simple steps you can play a part in making your home environment safer.
Focusing on child safety in the home, did you know that medicines are the number one cause of accidental poisoning to children? Household chemicals including cleaning products such as liquitab detergent capsules are attractive to children because of their bright colours and pleasant scents.
Children are very inquisitive and often explore new products by putting them in their mouth. Some simple steps that you can take to make your home safer and reduce the chance of accidental poisoning include:
Remember, child safety – it’s everyone’s responsibility.
You can find further information on preventing accidents in the home on the RoSPA website.
Guest blog by Graham Goulden, Violence Reduction Unit
In May I was invited to participate in the ‘5 Days of Violence Prevention’ event in Stockholm. Having made many friends in Sweden over the past few years I was excited at this opportunity, not only to spend time with friends but also to present alongside colleagues from the United States who had developed the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Programme and which is now being implemented across six Scottish Local Authorities. The Programme, which focuses on all forms of bullying behaviour and gender based violence, utilises a creative bystander approach to reduce abusive behaviour.
The theme of the event centred on the following questions, “Why do young men use the majority of violence?” and “How can we prevent young men’s violence?”
A particular favourite from MVP colleague Jeff O’Brien from the United States made linkages to mainstream notions of masculinity especially through exposure to media. He compared this exposure to the breathing of 'too much C02’. Both have the potential to be poisonous!
I introduced the idea of silence into the discussion, particularly men’s silence amongst other men’s sexist, misogynistic and abusive behaviour. The recent BBC programme ‘Blurred Lines’ suggested that this silence and acceptance of sexism creates a safe space for certain behaviours to exist. This space is perfect for sexual harassment and sexual assault to take place. The shocking reality is that some men are committing sexualised crimes with complete impunity.
To mark the launch of Child Safety Week, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, visited children and parents at the Fort Early Years Centre in Edinburgh on 25 June 2014 as they learned how to tackle morning chaos and keep children safe from accidents.
Ms Cunningham said: “Child Safety Week raises awareness of the accidents that kill or seriously injure children and the simple steps that can be taken to help prevent them.
The Child Safety Week campaign is supported by Scottish Ministers. It gets the message across to parents and children in a fun and engaging way, helping parents learn how to fit safety into their busy lives. I would encourage Scottish parents to visit the Child Safety Week website to find out more and support the valuable work they do.”
Improving outcomes for Scotland depends on knowing what can make the biggest difference to people's lives - in other words, what works in public service reform?
On 26th June, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney officially launched What Works Scotland, an independent research centre, jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which will be working on answering this question over the next three years.
Led by Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, it's a different kind of research centre - bringing together academics, policy makers, public, private and third sector organisations, and working with Community Planning Partnerships, and local communities.
It will take an active role in supporting policy development, based on the best existing evidence as well as generating new evidence.
What Works Scotland is part of a network across the UK, and will work closely with the others, but with a particular focus on the 'Scottish approach' to delivering public service reform.
This 'Scottish approach' has been internationally recognised, with research by the Carnegie Trust highlighting Scotland as unique in how we are reforming and improving our public services. The aim of What Works Scotland is to increase the scale and pace of these reforms and turn evidence from the work already done into practical solutions which will help to tackle the more deep-rooted problems we face such as intergenerational inequality.
In our May Update we highlighted the Poverty Truth Commission's 'Turning Up the Volume on Poverty' event which was held on 21st June. Over 450 people took part in the showcase event in Glasgow to hear about the urgent need to tackle the widespread poverty still experienced by too many in Scotland. The audience were treated to a stunning performance of comedy, drama, song, film, and conversation.
A guest blog by the Poverty Truth Commission
The event marked the work of the Poverty Truth Commission over the last 18 months, with the closing of the current Commission and the beginning of a new one. The Commission, which is supported by the Church of Scotland and Faith in Community Scotland, draws people with experience of poverty together with many of the key decision makers in Scotland. It’s work includes food poverty, tackling the costs of being poor, welfare reform, in-work poverty, kinship care and the stigma faced by those in poverty. This approach, and the findings in this latest report, attracted widespread coverage in the Scottish media, including radio, television and online news.
This is where you'll find the latest news and views from the BSC programme and guest blogs from those involved in making Scotland safer and stronger.