Homicide, Fire and Rescue and Criminal Proceedings Statistics published. The Homicides in Scotland 2013-14 statistics were published on 9 December and show that there were 60 homicides in 2013-14, a 5% reduction on the previous year and the lowest level since comparable records began. The Fire and Rescue Scotland 2013-14 statistics were published on 16 December and show that there was a 9% drop in dwelling fires in 2013-14 compared to the previous year and a 28% reduction in fire fatalities (down from 46 to 33) compared to 2012-13. The Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2013-14 statistics were also published on 16 December and show that convictions for non-sexual crimes of violence saw falls and, in particular, convictions for homicide and "attempted murder & serious assault" both declined by 20 per cent in the year to 2013-14, while the number of convictions for rape and attempted rape increased by 13 per cent and sexual assault by 15 per cent.
What's been happening?
Medics Against Violence’s ONE BIG THING campaign launched. The simple idea of this online campaign, which runs from 17-24 December, is ‘what’s the ONE BIG THING you could do to keep your friends safe this Christmas?’. At this time of year when people are out celebrating and making merry they sometimes forget either to look after themselves or others, or they may forget the bigger picture things that affect the wider society. Lots of people are tweeting about what they will do this Christmas to keep people safe, from acting as the designated driver to checking their smoke alarm to asking people to text them when they get home safely. What will you do?
Get evaluation support from the Scottish Government! The Scottish Government’s Community Safety Unit launched its evaluation framework contract on 1 December. This contract provides expert consultants for small-scale projects to evaluate initiatives aimed at building safer communities. It can also provide training on self-evaluation skills. The contract, which allows up to 15 days consultancy support, is managed by Scottish Government and can cover a wide range of topics including violence reduction, policing, sectarianism and hate crime offending, organised crime and road and home safety. It is open to local and national partners, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.
Scottish Public Health Network publishes violence prevention report. Violence Prevention: A Public Health Priority provides an overview of the evidence base on violence prevention. These help to shape our understanding of the scale and impact of violence; what causes violence; and what works to prevent violence and to extend better care and support to affected populations. The authors offer 3 recommendations for how public health professionals can help prevention violence in Scotland.
Podcasts and presentations from the Scottish International Policing Conference available. The theme of this year's conference, which was held on 22 October, was Technology, Policing and Criminal Justice, with contributions from the then Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, MSP, the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, Vic Emery OBE, the Chief Constable of Scotland, Sir Stephen House, QPM, and Professor Cynthia Lum, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Crime Policy, George Mason University, Washington.
Lots of new blogs on the Building Safer Communities Website. There are also a number of new blogs on the BSC website, on Police Scotland’s local policing awards, Medic Against Violence’s ONE BIG THING campaign, our new evaluation framework contract, and the latest Safer Communities and Justice Statistics Brief.
What's coming up?
New Building Safer Communities website to be launched in early January. We’ve revamped buildingsafercommunities.co.uk and the site is currently undergoing final testing. We think it provides a better user experience and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you and getting your feedback.
RoSPA Child Safety Conference will take place on 17 February 2015. This one-day conference on the topic of Child Safety will highlight examples of recent and ongoing initiatives in Scotland designed to prevent unintentional injuries to children. Information will be shared about how practitioners in a variety of settings can help stop accidents from happening to children in the home, on the roads and in or near water. This event will be of interest to anyone whose role includes the safety, care and education of children and includes those who work in health, education, childcare and community safety – "it's everyone's responsibility".
Restorative Approaches National Conference will take place 16-18 February 2015. Glasgow City Council would like to invite you to their first Restorative Approaches National Conference. This conference is for everyone working with children, young people and/or families. It will be of interest to those who are involved in relationship-based interventions, working with young people and adults to help resolve conflict, repair emotional harm and utilise reflective practice within schools and communities. Glasgow City Council are delighted to bring Marg Thorsborne, a leading expert from Australia in the area of Restorative Approaches, to Glasgow. Marg will deliver keynote speeches over the course of three days.
A range of Building Safer Communities Programme meetings will take place early next year. The Steering Group for Phase 2 on unintentional injuries will meet on 13 January. The BSC National Team will meet to discuss programme performance management (our stretch aim and sub-aims and how we connect these to activity in localities) on 20 January. And the BSC Programme Board will meet on 4 February to discuss how members have begun to engage with the BSC priority locations and themes in their new champions role.
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.