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stoirmeil 
Posted: 16-Jun-2005, 12:31 PM
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Hello, all --

I have The Scotsman delivered to my e-mail every day (on the weekends there are articles in Gaidhlig biggrin.gif ) and I've started to become quite interested in national issues. Maybe there are others who are interested as well.

This is a bit disturbing to start off with, but this was in today's issue:
Thu 16 Jun 2005

Scotland in grip of 'weapons culture'

MICHAEL HOWIE


Key points
? Arrests by Scottish police for weapon possession increase since last year
? Use of ad hoc weapons such as ash trays and belt buckles on the rise
? Forthcoming Police Bill will introduce hasher penalties for possession

Key quote
"It is not always just knives and other bladed instruments; people are using bottles, glasses, anything they can get their hands on.? - Tom Buchan, the president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents

Story in full SCOTLAND is in the grip of a deepening weapons culture, police warned yesterday, as new figures revealed an increase in the number of knives, baseball bats and other potentially lethal items being carried in almost every part of the country.

Link to full article:
http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=660102005

It's giving me a bit of a turn, because I want very much to relocate to Scotland eventually, and also to work in substance abuse counseling, which I've begun a course of professional development in recently. Which sounds like it might possibly put me closer to the phenomenon which is being described here. sad.gif

I wonder if anyone has a "reality check" to offer, from their experience? is it as bad as this article makes it?
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C Dubh 
Posted: 16-Jun-2005, 02:05 PM
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I don't think Scotland is any worse in respect to violent crime than anywhere else. I've lived in Scotland all my life & i feel safer here than most other places i've been to. That's not to say this gang culture doesn't exist, but if you don't go looking for it chances are it won't find you either. Of course sometimes you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that can happen in any country. The gangs in Scotland may have knives, but in America they have guns.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 16-Jun-2005, 02:44 PM
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ZodiacBirch

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I do thank you for that. And of course, it's common sense counsel.

Ye'll find me saft in the heid, nae doot -- biggrin.gif but if you'll believe it, I live in Harlem, one of the parts of New York City that has long been considered the worst! And just go about my business, aware of what the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time means.

(I would say, though, that guns are just a bit harder to come by on impulse than kitchen knives.)

Anyway, I think the thing that concerns me (as it does here in America, for instance in our city public schools), even if it's not the intent to commit aggression that drives it primarily, is why anyone feels they need the sense of added security that comes of having a weapon concealed about their person. I'm not sure it's just homeboy detente -- everybody armed and nobody unprotected, so nothing happens.
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C Dubh 
Posted: 17-Jun-2005, 03:11 AM
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QUOTE
I live in Harlem

..and your worried about Scotland. laugh.gif
Seriously, Scotland has some of the most deprived & poorest areas in Western Europe. So consequently we do have drug/crime problems. It's not all short bread & tartan like some people would have you believe. That's not to say it's a bad place to live. In fact i wouldn't want to be anywhere else but Scotland. Here's a recent report from BBC news:-

QUOTE
A survey has suggested Scotland is the most neighbourly area of Britain.
The report by Halifax Home Insurance also found the UK is more neighbourly than it was five years ago.

Scotland scored 100 points out of a maximum 121 on the so-called neighbourliness barometer, which marked regions on 11 categories.

The lowest score was recorded in the north east of England, which clocked 41 points, and London came second to last with only 46 points.

Vicky Emmott, senior research manager at Halifax Home Insurance, said: "We looked at factors such as strength of friendship with neighbours, the extent to which we would seek advice from neighbours, the sense of safety and security within neighbourhoods and a variety of other measures.


The report in full can be found here:- BBC News

It's good to highlight these issues however. If only to dispel the awful Brigadoon stereotype of Scotland.
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DesertRose 
Posted: 18-Jun-2005, 11:12 PM
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Ooh! This is a great topic! I hope we can discuss the news in Scotland in here as I am interested in the national issues of Scotland and read the Scotsman too. When I go to Scotland, I expect to see the country for what it is and who the people really are.........not the sexy Highlanders in kilts as my romance novels portray (sorry folks, they are fun for me to read ok? laugh.gif ) But I know reality and outside the fantasy there is no eutopia in any country. However, I can't imagine any place being more dangerous to live in than America or Iraq!

Stormeil! You must be such a very compassionate person to want to give of yourself in such a difficult field. I commend you for taking on such a dire need in any country as it is a world problem nowadays and it takes a very giving person to take on such a task. I have a friend here in my town who does what you do for the local Native American people where there is not only lots of substance/alcohol abuse but lots of gang/crime activity as well. I wish you much luck in your endeavors whereever they may be. smile.gif



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stoirmeil 
Posted: 19-Jun-2005, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (C Dubh @ 17-Jun-2005, 04:11 AM)

It's good to highlight these issues however. If only to dispel the awful Brigadoon stereotype of Scotland.

I'm so glad to see you say this, since I really was afraid I might be giving offence.

We all have a Scotland of the mind, or maybe of the heart -- those of us that don't live there, I mean. Mostly it's made of history and song, and it's a beautiful thing. I'd never knock it!

But since I do think about coming there, I try to track what it's really like, at least through the press as I have access to it. I watch what's happening with gaelic language progress, of course, Murdo MacLeod's curmudgeonly articles biggrin.gif -- but also things like the purported low birth rate and population aging, problems with the medical system, who actually "owns" most of the Highlands, what the hell are they thinking of with merging the Highland units and doing away with the Black Watch??!! (My father, rest him, would rise from the grave bellowing if he could hear that.)

And stuff.

Now, my paper is The Scotsman, and I have a very hazy idea what position it has in the political spectrum, what kind of a slant it has, is it accurate, and all that. So I had the idea this might be a good way to find out a little about that too. I'm happy to say I never had much of a Brigadoon stereotype. wink.gif
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 19-Jun-2005, 07:55 PM
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ZodiacBirch

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I'm concerned as to how the country is bracing for the G8 activities. A couple weeks ago I found myself a bit unhappy with the security precautions President Bush was making for himself (including a mini-armada off shore, which seemed a bit much logistically, never mind terribly and unnecessarily expensive). But given the population capacity of the big cities, I wonder if hosting this thing is not going to be way more costly in terms of disruption than the country needs?

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=44...&20050620012243
http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=44...49&id=670282005

Also -- there has been some talk about the Live-8 concert. Here in New York there's a lot of new immigrants from West Africa. I have some African students who have been grousing a little about the under-representation of african bands for this concert -- like, maybe one? sad.gif

Also -- I'm not sure about the timing, but how is this going to affect the Edinburgh Festival?
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C Dubh 
Posted: 21-Jun-2005, 03:17 AM
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ZodiacRowan

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I think the G8 summit will be finished by then won't it. The festival doesn't start until the 14th of August.
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