Agenda: A scheme that shows we can take pride in our young people
By Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins, Police Scotland’s Executive Lead for PSYV (Police Scotland Youth Volunteers)
There’s a common misconception about teenagers – they’re stroppy, rebellious, anti-establishment, uncooperative and inconsiderate. Any stereotype is a sweeping generalisation, you cannot tar everyone with the same brush, but it’s fair to say the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) movement is showing teens and adults alike there is more to young people than many of us may think. The organisation has grown from humble beginnings in a relatively short space of time, starting as a pilot project, in 2014, with just five groups. In less than four years the scheme has expanded to 41 active groups, with more than 1,000 members aged between 13 and 17, assisted by more than 300 adult volunteers the length and breadth of Scotland. Last night its success was celebrated with a reception at the Scottish Parliament attended by the First Minister and Chief Constable Iain Livingstone.
Smacking ban legislation lodged at Holyrood
Legislation aimed at banning the smacking of children in Scotland has been published at Holyrood. Green MSP John Finnie introduced the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill after gaining the backing of the Scottish Government and MSPs from across all the political parties. If passed, the legislation would remove the defence of “justifiable assault” in Scots law, which allows parents to use physical punishment to admonish a child.
Police Scotland record more than 1,300 child abuse image offices
Police recorded more than 1,300 offences relating to child abuse images in the past two years, new figures show. Statistics gathered by children’s charity NSPCC show there were a total of 1,307 offences recorded by Police Scotland, with an average of one offence recorded every 23 minutes across the UK as a whole. The charity is calling for more action to stop paedophiles using social media to groom victims, and wants an independent regulator established to hold technology companies to account. According to the charity, the number of child abuse image offences recorded by police across the UK in 2017/18 rose by almost a quarter in a year to 22,724.