245893 Engaging with “gang”-related youths as a means to reduce violence in Glasgow: Lessons learned from the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Damien Williams, BSc(Hons) PhD FRSPH , School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
Prof Peter D. Donnelly, MD MPH FRCP FFPH , Professor of Public Health Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom
The social patterning of violence, whereby those in the most deprived areas are at greatest risk of victimisation/perpetration, is a concern in Scotland. The situation is most evident in Glasgow with the presence of young “street gangs”, which comprise youths from some of the most deprived areas in Scotland participating in “recreational violence”. In an attempt to tackle this problem the Community initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) has adopted an enlightened approach to identifying gang-related youths in the North and East of Glasgow and offering educational, social, health, and diversionary services and programmes to those who pledge to give-up their violent lifestyle and voluntarily engage with the initiative. There are, however, a number of ethical issues that arise through reflective practice and interaction with the youths. In particular, issues around identification, while facilitating the provision of help where it is most needed, necessarily labels the youths as “gang members”, when many do not relate to being in a gang. Secondly, a motivating factor for many of the youths engaging with CIRV is the belief that it will result in a job, which is not always possible. In conclusion, while CIRV is seen as having a significant impact on levels of youth violence in Glasgow, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed on an on-going basis to ensure the initiative continues to help these young people in the most beneficial way, and that they are fully informed of the realistic outcomes of their engagement.

Learning Areas:
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the Glasgow Community Initiative to Reduce violence 2.Identify ethical issues involved in the engagement of the target group of youths 3.Discuss ways of refining the criteria for inclusion in the initiative 4.Discuss the utility of targeting violent youths as a means of reducing violence in Glasgow

Keywords: Youth Violence, Ethics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am involved in the evaluation of the initiative on which this abstract is based and have collected or supervised the collection of information presented in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.