Public Health & Community Safety

How will we work together to create a Scotland where we live in vibrant, healthy and safe places and communities?

On 4 September 2019 we ran a seminar for community safety and public health leaders, policy-makers and practitioners to explore the intersect between community safety and public health and how we could work together under the new public health arrangements in Scotland.

You can view the presentations from our Public Health and Community Safety Masterclass below:

You can also view videos of the presentations here:

Synopsis of the day

Public health in Scotland is undergoing reform. As part of this reform programme a new public health body – Public Health Scotland – will begin work on 1st April 2020 and aims to create “a Scotland where everybody thrives”.

In June 2018, as part of the Public Health reform programme the Scottish Government and COSLA jointly launched Scotland’s Public Health Priorities; reflecting the issues that are important to focus on over the next decade to improve the health of the nation. One of these is ‘A Scotland where we live in vibrant, healthy and safe places and communities.’

The reform programme will bring public health expertise together in a single body for the first time but will require partners to work together in a different way to achieve the outcomes. The new priorities are intended to support national and local partners across Scotland work together to improve healthy life expectancy and reduce health inequalities in our communities.

There is a strong history of partnership working between community safety and other justice partners, such as local authorities, Police, fire and rescue services and the third sector in Scotland. Much of this happens under outcome 11 of the National Performance Framework – ‘We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.’

This revised outcome brings together the previous ‘safer’ and ‘stronger’ outcomes from the old NPF and recognises that in order to deliver community safety effectively consideration needs to be given to fostering the wider social conditions which impact upon it. Social conditions mean such things as social networks, personal relationships, social participation, community cohesion and empowerment.

Being healthy and being safe are not mutually exclusive. There is growing recognition that many of the factors that interact to create safer communities are the same as those that work towards creating healthy communities; and the social and physical attributes of the places where people are born, grow, live, work and age can have a profound effect on the lives they are able to live.

This seminar will explore the intersect between public health and community safety, and how policy-makers and practitioners from both fields could work together in new ways to support safe and healthy communities. It will bring together people working in both fields to create local relationships which will aid this future working.