Why is this National Outcome important?
An inclusive and respectful society, with communities that embrace diversity, and where people help each other, provides a better quality of life for all citizens. It allows more people to contribute to a growing economy, lead healthier, more independent lives and live in a more sustainable way that is better for the environment. A cohesive community is more likely to get involved in local issues. Building strong supportive communities is key to addressing the underlying causes of crime. Our communities set the wider social context in which acceptable behaviour is defined. Communities that embrace diversity, protect the rights of others, but also set appropriate boundaries on behaviour support a culture of dignity and respect.
What will influence this National Outcome?
We can create the conditions in which strong communities grow by developing well-designed, sustainable places. Government must create the right environment for investment and increased housing supply; taking targeted action in the most disadvantaged communities and devolving power to the local level so that communities can have more influence and ownership. These efforts involve central and local government, alongside many other organisations and Community Planning Partnerships - which are uniquely placed to devise solutions for local communities. This partnership approach can build the strong physical infrastructure required to create economic and social success.
We need a vibrant democracy, with increased engagement in purposeful voluntary activity and public life. Fundamental to the development of stronger communities is a modern legal framework which commands public confidence, is easily accessible by all and protects people from unfair and inequitable treatment by the state, by businesses or by other people.
What is the Government's role?
We will take action through our Regeneration Strategy, in partnership with stakeholders, to strengthen Scotland's communities, providing additional support to the places and people that need it. We will develop 'The Achieving Change Programme', which will promote local public service reform in our most disadvantaged communities.
We have introduced community payback orders as a robust community-based sentence. These orders are tailored to each offender and can include the requirement to carry out hours of unpaid work to benefit communities, as well as completion of intensive supervision, alcohol or drug or programmes.
Police and Fire Reform has brought equal access to specialist support and capacity and strengthened the connection with communities.
We ensure fair access to justice by maintaining wide availability of legal aid. A programme to modernise our civil justice system has given people greater options to resolve disputes, and ensure cases are dealt with at an appropriate level of court. We have improved access to debt and welfare advice services.
Community-led work will improve good will, community cohesion, neighbourliness and help to tackle both antisocial behaviour and serious crime.
Related Strategic Objectives
Safer and Stronger
Related National Indicators
Improve people's perceptions about the crime rate in their area
Reduce crime victimisation rates
Improve people's perceptions of their neighbourhood