Letters: ‘Stop our young becoming lifetime criminals’

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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I BELIEVE justice reforms in Scotland or any other part of the UK should be focused on stopping young offenders turning into adult offenders.

Children who end up imprisoned often spend their lives in and out of young offenders’ institutions, which culminates in them ending up in prison when they become adults.

So it is fairly obvious prevention is better than cure.

We all know that if we want to create a safe community for our younger generation, it has to be made very clear that any changes made to our justice system have to involve the future, and guidance towards our children.

Perhaps as an example, local authorities should play a greater role in services for groups of less serious offenders.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Figures need to be re-addressed

James Mitchell (Letters, April 18) makes an interesting point when he asserts that the result of the independence referendum depends on the voters. He is, of course, absolutely correct in this assertion, but unfortunately he gives us only one side of the coin.

Using his own figures, the obverse shows us that if only 55 per cent turn out to vote, and of them only 60 per cent vote for the status quo, this would mean that only one person in every three would be in favour of Scotland remaining part of the UK.

His desire for a 90 per cent turnout is, of course, desirable, but only if applied to all future UK elections. As someone who has yet to make up their mind regarding the future referendum, I think we should all – and this includes politicians of all persuasions – be concentrating on the positive rather than constructing obstacles which are so obviously biased.

David McBain, Baberton Mains Row, Edinburgh

Cyclists will get unfair advantage

Is it really being proposed that, unless they can prove that the cyclist was to blame, motorists involved in an accident with a cyclist will automatically be held responsible?

Surely it’s up to the police to investigate accidents and to determine responsibility. Or are the police always going to blame the motorist without any investigation?

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Childcare laws to be welcomed

The aspirations of the Children and Young People Bill, which aims to make Scotland “the best place in the world” to grow up, are, of course, greatly welcomed. This is anticipated to be one of the most important pieces of legislation in the sector for more than a decade.

The legislation includes the extension of free nursery hours for young children, entitling three and four-year-olds to 600 hours of free early learning nursery education per year. That is an increase from the 475 hours of nursery care each year without cost.

As a coalition working with those with care experience and complex needs, we are particularly pleased to see more support for those young people leaving care. Many of this group are currently not getting the support they require to help them make a successful transition into adulthood.

All members of our coalition work with children who have additional support needs. They are the most vulnerable in our society and there are significant gaps in the delivery of the support services they need.

We look forward to scrutinising the Bill and working with the Scottish Parliament to plug these gaps and ensure that it delivers on the Scottish Government’s aspirations to indeed make Scotland the best place in the world to bring up children.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition: Sophie Dow, founder, Mindroom; Tom McGhee, managing director, Spark of Genius; Duncan Dunlop, chief executive, Who Cares? Scotland; Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School; Brian Durham, managing director, Young Foundations

A rubbish way to advertise trade

I COULDN’T believe my eyes the other day when I saw a van driver on the motorway opening his window and throwing out the packaging for his newly consumed lunch.

Even better, the side of the van advertised the firm’s services for waste disposal. Talk about a bad advert!

Ann Barker, Albion Road, Edinburgh