SCSN were delighted to have Tricia Spacey seconded to work between SCSN and the Scottish Government from late 2018 into early 2019. We are now equally delighted to publish her report: Developing a Community Safety Narrative for Scotland.
What is meant by community safety, or safer communities, has broadened over the years, and the landscape is increasingly complex. The initial focus on preventing and reducing crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder is now much wider. Community safety encompasses everything that helps people to be and to feel safe in their homes, within their community and at places of work or leisure. It is fundamentally about improving people’s quality of life and includes a wide range of issues such as home safety, road safety, water safety (together known as injury prevention), as well as priorities around community justice, counter-terrorism, child sexual exploitation, online safety and substance misuse. This notion of community safety sits within the broader context of enabling communities to be inclusive, empowered and resilient and safe, which recognises the influence of the broader economic, social and physical environment.
The 2018 report ‘Community Safety – the emerging landscape and future opportunities’ outlined and discussed the current challenges facing community safety in Scotland, and recommended that the development a community safety narrative would help local and national organisations and practitioners better understand the current community safety landscape.
This paper begins to develop this narrative following a series of discussions between October 2018 and March 2019 with national policy leads and local practitioners working in community safety and related policy areas. The paper is intended to prompt further discussion and thinking around these issues to help support local community safety partners to enhance their understanding of current and emerging policy areas and work streams that are relevant to community safety, and increase awareness among those who are working within other policy areas of the importance of ‘thinking with community safety in mind’.