Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley this week commended both ‘The Street’ and the ‘No Knives Better Lives’ campaigns in a Parliamentary debate on Gangs and Serious Youth Violence.
The local MP urged MPs from all parties to consider how similar educational projects could be rolled out across the UK, saying:
“No Knives Better Lives raises awareness and educates young people about the consequences of knife crime.
“This is one example of a measure that has contributed to success in reducing violence.
“In my constituency, a local community group established a drama workshop known as “The Street”
“It is produced by young people, many of whom have been involved in violence themselves, and it tackles issues of violence, knife crime and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as sexual violence.
“This message can be delivered by young people to young people in a hard-hitting way with a powerful impact, addressing the serious ramifications and consequences of actions occurring on a daily basis on the streets.
Angela also praised the Scottish Government’s early intervention strategy that has seen violent crime almost half, saying:
“We focused on early intervention, improving life chances and the integration of the police within the community, working with young people.
“This resulted in a significant reduction of crime and violence.
“Let me be clear, incidence of violence continues on a daily basis, and too many people fall short of the law. But because of our positive work we have undoubtedly saved hundreds of lives.
After the debate, Angela said:
“The decline in gang violence began when police in Scotland acknowledged that the only way to stem the tide of violence was to tackle the culture that spawned it.
“Because while young men grew up in unstable, violent homes, joined gangs, carried knives, drank and fought, murder was inevitable.
“If we simply continued to punish the perpetrators, the victims would only grow in number.
“There is still more to do, but as a result of our change in approach we are now reaping the rewards.