A Representative from SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) is the Champion responsible for driving forward the Divert strand of the Strategy.
Divert - individuals (particularly young people) from engaging in or using the products of serious organised crime. Action to achieve this is centered around raising awareness of the issues around serious organised crime, through targeted activity and direct engagement with community. The Scottish Government will work with a range of stakeholders to:
Intensify activity to provide young people with the cold facts about drugs;
Provide alternatives for young people using Cashback for Communities;
Challenge unhealthy role models;
Target groups of consumers to reduce the demand for products of serious organised crime; and
Create a Communications sub group to take a fresh look at communications work to raise awareness and reduce demand.
Examples of Divert
‘Shared Responsibility Initiative’
The Shared Responsibility project is the Colombian Government's flagship campaign which raises awareness of the environmental and social devastation caused by cocaine production in Columbia through deforestation, pollution, corruption and violence. Colombia sees more than 18,000 murders a year - an average of 50 per day - and in the last 20 years, 2.2 million hectares of tropical forest have been destroyed to make way for coca plants.
Designed for school pupils and driven by the SCDEA, in conjunction with the Colombian Embassy in London and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC), this environmentally based initiative highlights global and local issues. It uses as its subject matter the environmental and ecological damage caused in Colombia from the production of the coca plant to meet the global demand for cocaine.
Since inception in 2008 and particularly over the last 2 years, the number of Primary and Secondary schools throughout Scotland participating in Shared Responsibility has risen sharply. Working directly with Education Scotland, Shared Responsibility contains all criteria, elements and outcomes demanded by the Curriculum for Excellence including opportunities to develop components such as interdisciplinary learning and personal development. Importantly the initiative is flexible yet robust enough to be utilised across communities regardless of geographical location or demographic profile and appeals to individuals who are academically and practically minded.
In addition, numerous partners located within the public, private and voluntary sectors now work with and are committed to promoting Shared Responsibility. These include Glasgow Science Centre, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Shetland Recreational Trust, Dogs Against Drugs and Blackburn Local Employment Scheme to name a few. Awareness and recognition of success has extended beyond education resulting in the model created by SCDEA attracting interest from various European countries and being hailed as best practice by representatives from the Colombian Embassy, London.
Shared Responsibility is part of the strategy to tackle serious and organised crime and is a good example of how policing has a strong societal role beyond that of law enforcement.
Four key outcomes, reflecting the long term and sustainable Scottish Government and Policing strategic objectives, to which Shared Responsibility contributes, have been identified as;
- A reduction in the number of young people becoming members of serious organised crime groups;
- Scotland no longer featuring in UNODC World Drug Reports as the largest consumer of cocaine in the world (per head per population);
- A generation of young people who through education become responsible citizens;
- A reduction in the ecological damage to valuable bio-diversity.
Informing the public of successes against organised crime groups
The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce has established a TWITTER account to notify the public of the successes law enforcement agencies make against those involved in organised crime. You can follow the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce successes on Twitter at SOC_Task_Force.