A police-led partnership initiative aimed at diverting young people from criminal activity in Edinburgh is to receive Scottish Government funding.
As part of the CashBack for Communities Scheme, £19 million, which was seized from criminals, is to be shared with a range of organisations to further their work in diverting at risk youths away from potentially criminal or anti-social behaviour.
One such project receiving a share of this funding is VOW, a unique collaborative project, where police in the Capital work along a number of partners to engage and empower vulnerable young-people to make positive life choices.
This partnership helps break the cycle of offending and prevent individuals from continually entering the criminal justice system.
So far 167 young people have been helped through the work of the team. The funding will ensure this vital work continues and even expands.
In addition, some of the cash boost will go towards the award winning partnership project with City of Edinburgh Council Turn Your Life Around (TYLA), with City of Edinburgh Council.
Turn Your Life Around is a mental health and wellbeing project where local volunteers with a range of difficult childhood experiences are supported to share their stories of adversity and resilience with school pupils, families and staff.
Pupils at the schools are then given a platform to discuss the stories, reflect on risk and resilience factors and encouraged to seek help if they are experiencing similar difficulties.
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh said: “This partnership and public health approach, using these inspirational peer mentors and courageous young volunteers, was a first of its kind here in Scotland.
“The proof that it works is testament to the number of young people that have managed to turn their lives around and the fact that on average the young people who engage with the peer mentors and officers manage to reduce their offending by around 80%.