East Kilbride's rise in youth violence highlighted by MSP at Holyrood

Colette Stevenson MSP
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)


The rise of youth violence plaguing East Kilbride has been highlighted by an MSP in Holyrood.

This comes after a group of parents created a group to tackle the growing problem in the Lanarkshire town.

Founder Sharon Bavaird, started the movement after her daughter, Tanith, was brutally assaulted by a group of teens who repeatedly hit the 15-year-old's head off a kerb.

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The teen's mother is now receiving threats from youth's after setting up the support group. East Kilbride MSP Collette Stevenson recently sat down with those worried about the growing issue.

Their concerns were then brought before parliament at Holyrood this week.

The MSP said: "I recently met with members of East Kilbride victims of Teen Violence, a group of local residents affected by and shocked with recent events in the town.

"Can the cabinet secretary outline the work Scottish Government is taking forward alongside the police with important organisations including Scottish Violence reduction unit and medics against violence, and how their expertise can be use in towns like East Kilbride, where police data shows a significant rise in youth violence?"

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Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs Angela Constance responded: "Firstly I share the member's concern about youth crime and understand that in East Kilbride Police Scotland are investigating an incident and have deployed additional patrols to reassure the community.

"Through our violence prevention framework we are supporting a programme backed by over £2million this year to prevent and reduce violence across Scotland.

"In East Kilbride it is supporting the targetted work of medics against violence and no knives better lives to prevent youth violence in the first place.

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"While such problems should be a concern to each and every one of us in this chamber.

"The member, I hope, can take some reassurance, that as I've highlighted, there has been an overall reduction in youth crime and crime generally, with violent crime decreasing by 50% since 2008/9."

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