Tackling Scottish Issues Through Leadership

Date: Thursday, September 4, 2014 Date: Thursday, September 4, 2014 Time: 07:45 - 09:15 Location: The Corinthian Club, Glasgow

This is a past event

At our September breakfast there was a serious note to our guest’s presentation when we welcomed Karyn McCluskey, head of the Violence Reduction Unit.

Karyn opened by posing the question “What do you do when faced by a wicked, complex problem like Violence?”  Traditional criminal justice solutions have often been short term, expensive and do little to prevent violence occurring.  Can you approach this problem in an innovative way, and encourage those who think it not their problem, to take an active involvement?

Karyn talked us through case studies illustrating the problems faced by youth violence and knife crime in our towns and cities – but why have we got these problems in the first place?

We soon learnt that those who are responsible for violent crime often come from backgrounds steeped in crime and violence, usually in the home. I guess you could say that early intervention into these young peoples lives would be one solution, to try and offer help and support where there is only despair with no real prospects. Karyn had many figures and stats to hand but the one that really struck home was how little is spent on helping people at a very early age and how much is spent at an older age, usually on policing and imprisonment. Is spend and support back to front?

Before co-founding the Violence Reduction Unit in 2004 Karyn had a distinguished career with the Police including time with the Metropolitan Police where she developed their violence plan strategy including advising No. 10 Downing Street.  This experience placed Karyn in a good position to talk us through the problems related to violence as well as offering her opinion and knowledge in tackling the problems. “The best way to stop a gang and a gun is a job”, sending out a clear message to the business audience sat before her. We were also told that in order to change societies attitude towards dealing with violence we need to educate people to understand the issues, unfortunately not everyone is always willing to listen.

Karyn finished off with the message that we need to innovate going forward and cited the example of a judge in New York who has been sentencing criminals, not to a custodial sentence but sentencing them to employment!

The audience were very engaged and welcomed the opportunity to discuss the issues raised with Karyn during the busy Q&A.

The whole presentation was a fascinating insight into the darker side of society and the leadership surrounding it, with some interesting ideas for tackling the problems and issues moving forward. We were delighted that Karyn was able to take the time to share her thoughts and ideas with us over a roll and coffee.

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