Report to be introduced by councillor Jasmine Ali.
Councillor Jasmine Ali, cabinet member for children, school and adult care, attended the committee to present this report, which she had led on in her former role as a scrutiny chair. Councillor Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for community safety and public health was present to discuss the report’s findings.
The committee accepted the report and suggested that in its discussions and work on knife crime, the council should consider its root causes, and specifically the link with gang activity and domestic violence. How can the council’s existing infrastructure be used better to reduce knife crime? What data does the council have on school exclusions and their link to knife crime? How can the council work with young people who have fallen out of the system and are not visible? Could the council invite Karyn McCluskey (chief executive of Community Justice Scotland) to take practical learning from the public health approach in Glasgow? A member asked Cllr Ali which recommendation she considered most important – she picked out the recommendation for a single point of accountability. Several members felt it was important for the council to reflect on its work on knife crime – what’s going well and what could be better?
Councillor Akoto thanked the committee and welcomed the report. She was conscious of the complexity of the issue with poverty one of the biggest drivers. The answer is not top down. She would be attempting to gather together all the groups who are responding to knife crime. A member asked her whether there were other topics scrutiny could look at which would assist this work – Cllr Akoto suggested school exclusions.