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- Law and order
Renewed focus on prevention work in communities.
Tackling serious organised crime requires a renewed focus on prevention, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.
Chairing his first meeting of the Serious Organised Crime (SOC) taskforce at the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh today, Mr Yousaf said working with communities was key to diverting people away from joining organised crime gangs.
It follows the recent publication of research examining how serious organised crime impacts on communities and the key role of community services in protecting individuals who are potentially vulnerable to exploitation through organised crime.
Mr Yousaf tasked members of the SOC taskforce - including police, local authorities, third sector organisations and other criminal justice agencies - with refreshing the preventative approach and prioritising community engagement.
"This taskforce has a vital role to play in keeping our communities safe and we have seen high-profile convictions of individuals involved in organised crime and the increasing use of Serious Crime Prevention Orders to reduce the risk to the public.
“Early intervention to tackle root causes of organised crime is vital and I want to broaden our work with local authority services to help us develop resilient communities across Scotland.
“I look forward to building on the success of the taskforce so far and taking forward new action to harness the potential of our greatest asset in responding to and preventing serious organised crime - the community itself.”
The research on community experiences of SOC involved in-depth one-to-one interviews and discussions with residents, schools, businesses, community organisations and public service professionals in a number of areas known to be affected by organised crime.