by Dawn Exley, National Development Officer

For a long time, the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) has had an interest in place-based work and seen its importance and potential in making communities safer.

We spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a community safe and are well aware it is about a lot more than prison sentences and more police on the streets.  As we continue through this decade, we are continually reminded that it is also about resilience, togetherness and feeling heard.

This is why place-based working speaks to us.  Not only is it vital for people in their unique locations and indeed from their unique perspectives (see our short animation on Perceptions and Experiences of Community Safety) to be able to share what it really feels like to be them and live where they live, it is also essential for the future of safe communities that we get serious about localising democracy, find ways to give people more agency and get serious about what lived experience really means.That’s why we are so very excited to be working with Public Health Scotland to develop a community safety lens for the Place Standard Tool.

It will be no surprise to anyone that community safety is often a major topic that comes through when already engaging communities with the tool.  It is also clear how broad and all-encompassing community safety is, when it features in almost all of the 14 themes already in the tool – for example, public transport, streets and spaces, housing, play and recreation…you can get the picture!  And what a nice full circle moment for us – as we continue to promote the importance of looking at community safety through different lenses – to be fashioning one of our own.

We cannot and would not do this alone though.  We will be co-producing this new resource with as many of our partners and stakeholders as possible so that it is shaped by the experts and practitioners in the field, at every stage in the process.  Watch out for more information on this coming months!


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