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What makes for safer communities?

May 14, 2021

SCSN logoThe Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) has published a report from four projects focused on different aspects of community safety - and the importance of community-led approaches is among the findings.

The research was commissioned in early 2021 and covered four work areas, which can broadly be summed up as being about:

  1. What makes an effective Community Safety Partnership (CSP)?
  2. What makes a safe community?
  3. The use of evidence in community safety a
  4. The experience of community safety of groups with protected characteristics (or under-represented groups more generally).

A importance of communities (particularly marginalised, disadvantaged and under-represented groups) playing a key role is highlighted, with the report stating that:

  • Community engagement and empowerment is extremely important for community safety.  The skills and techniques needed to maximise the potential for a more community-led approach need to be further developed.
  • Early intervention and prevention is recognised by the sector as important and there is even greater potential to work with communities to avoid unsafe situations developing or escalating is well understood.
  • Community safety has mostly focused on geographic communities.  The safety needs of communities of interest are often significant and warrant a co-ordinated national approach to ensure that people with particular safety needs are not unduly unsafe.
  • An interesting section of the report on evidence highlights that all research participants expressed enthusiasm for more work to be done on reviewing how community safety partners think about data, with a greater focus needed on ‘information’, ‘insight’, ‘qualitative data’, ‘personal stories’ and so on.

Of course, these are the findings most immediately relevant to community organisations and community-led appraoches, and there's a lot more in terms of partnership, prevention and data-sharing.

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See the full news item from SCSN here.

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