Scottish service for gang members

I watched The War Against Street Weapons this week:

“Last year, as chair of Channel 4’s Street Weapons Commission, Cherie Booth QC said that the use of guns and knives among young people had become so widespread that she feared for the safety of her own children. Since then, the police and government have taken steps to deal with the problem. But are they doing enough?

To answer that question, Cherie joins police patrols on Britain’s toughest streets, talks to young offenders behind bars, and visits a pioneering scheme combating Glasgow’s violent gang culture.

The Street Weapons Commission Report – published in 2008 – set out a series of practical recommendations about what could be done to tackle the problem of street weapons in the UK. But one year on, the problem hasn’t gone away and Cherie feels passionately that more must be done.”

Sometimes I forget that Cherie Booth is not just the former Prime Minister’s wife, but also a hugely successful barrister in her own right! Read these related press articles to find out more about some of the violent crime cases referred to in Dispatches.

It was this service offered by the Violence Reduction Unit that interested me the most – this card is handed to gang members the service targets either following a visit to their home or a ‘self referral’ sessions.

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The program is based on this article from the New Yorker and you can learn more here: www.actiononviolence.com

From where I am standing this looks like a fantastic initiative. . Of course, design thinking alone will fail to tackle crime but I believe design has a crucial role to play in this. How would the dynamics of this service change if a service designer were to spend a day with the young people it has rescued from gang life?

Thank you to Caroline Foulkes, Communications Manager at the Violence Reduction Unit for all her help in finding this information.