Over the last 10 years in Scotland the Violence Reduction Unit and its many partners have worked hard to reduce the level of violence in Scotland. Violence is now at a 40 year low and we can no longer be described as the violence capital of Western Europe. We must congratulate our colleagues in Policing, the Government, Health, Education and the third sector to name but a few, for the excellent work they have done and for daring to aspire for something better. However our biggest thanks must go our communities; both the young and the old for saying enough is enough and making the difference. The scourge of knife crime is reducing with our young people leading the way and turning their backs on knife carrying.
Despite the great work and the massive reductions that Scotland has seen the job is not yet complete. We want Scotland to be the safest and best country in the world; a place where all our children and people can live free from harm and prosper in a connected environment.
We are still at the beginning of our journey and there is a lot of work to be done. We still have a toxic relationship with alcohol that fuels much of our violence and domestic violence remains pervasive; damaging life’s in ways that are unacceptable and lasting. Violence in the streets is at an all-time low yet violence in the home remains stubbornly entrenched.
Breaking the cycle of violence that affects our communities and families is our priority; protecting victims and preventing further violence by addressing the route cause and not just the symptoms is crucial.
Achieving further reductions and implementing change is difficult but not impossible; innovation and prevention are our watchwords and we will ‘proceed until apprehended’ in our pursuit of our goal. By working together and aspiring the great people, communities and services of Scotland we can be the country that we want to be.
Together, we can prevent violence still further but we have to think differently and be bold in what outcomes we want to achieve. We cannot be ‘fearties’ and we must be relentless in our desire for change