Many of us will be taking time off from work over the festive period. Spending it with our families, sharing gifts and stories and enjoying all that the season has to offer.
However the holiday period does not mean a break for everyone.
The festive period can be a particularly busy time for Scotland’s police and fire services. Many officers and crews will be spending time away from their families in order to serve their communities. I want to thank them for this and their excellent work throughout 2018.
Civilian police staff in areas such as emergency call centres and forensics services should be recognised for their work which underpin effective policing, for which I am grateful.
I am thankful to those in Scotland’s legal profession who support people, representing them to secure justice and defend their rights.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and staff in our courts across Scotland deserve our thanks for the important role they play in providing information and supporting people navigating the criminal justice system all year round at what can be a stressful time for both victims and accused.
Like our emergency service workers, those at the frontline of our prison service do a challenging and at times a dangerous job.
To their credit we should never take for granted that Scotland’s prisons are well-run, ordered and stable places over the festive period as at all other times of the year.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice @HumzaYousaf has thanked all across the justice system for their hard work to keep us safe at Christmas and all year round.
— ScotGov Justice (@ScotGovJustice) December 24, 2018
Across communities, Criminal Justice Social Work, Unpaid Work Teams and third sector partners are working together to deliver effective community sentences which support rehabilitation and reduce re-offending.
Over 1 million hours of unpaid work and other activity each year delivers real benefits to communities and helps individuals make changes to prevent re-offending.
Thanks to their hard work and this approach, we have achieved a 19 year low in reconviction rates in Scotland and in the year ahead we will extend the presumption against short sentences to help make further gains in reducing re-offending.
In the year ahead, the close working of all those in Scotland’s justice system, along with wider public services including the NHS, and third sector organisations, will be key to securing safer, stronger communities across the country.
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