Scotmid launches new scheme in Edinburgh to tackle crime

Scotmid is joining forces with the police and local charities to pilot a community programme in the Capital to tackle crime.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 5:58 pm
Scotmid launch Project RISE in Leith PIC: Cat Egerton

The new project RISE will be piloted in Leith and is designed to intervene early – connecting people in communities to local support services.

Scotmid has teamed up with Cyrenians, Turning Point, Link-Up, Connecting Circles and Police Scotland to target people involved in crime and help those struggling with addictions to access treatment in a bid to encourage them to make alternative choices.

It comes as damning figures revealed drug-related deaths in Scotland have hit record levels for the seventh year in a row, with 1,339 people dying in 2020.

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People in the most deprived areas were 18 times more likely to die, according to the findings.

Ms Sturgeon previously admitted her government "took our eye off the ball" on drug deaths. She has pledged £250m over the next five years to help tackle the crisis.

Scotmid hopes that the RISE programme will be rolled out across other areas of the city.

Carmen McShane, Scotland Service Manager of Turning Point, said: “It has never been so important to make mainstream services more accessible for those who suffer from alcohol and other drug use.

“Accessing support and treatment can be a protective factor in reducing overdose, therefore, outreach work in Leith, and other local communities like this, is vital if we want to prevent drug-related deaths. I’m so pleased to work with Scotmid, Connecting Circles, Cyrenians and Link Up in this initiative to deliver the support to people in our community who need it.”

Nick McGuirk, Project RISE Project Manager at Scotmid, said: “As a retailer based in the heart of our communities, we are in a fortunate position to be able to identify and reach some of the most vulnerable people. We’re pleased to work with some fantastic charities to ensure we can support as many people as possible, helping them to make more positive life choices.”

A Spokesperson at Police Scotland said: "Police Scotland is looking forward to working alongside our partners in this programme, designed to make positive changes for those who require support and help. We hope it will expand its work to other areas, so that people can avoid potentially dangerous circumstances, whilst flourishing in their communities.”

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