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Crimestoppers' youth service Fearless is working to reduce crime and keep our communities safe

By Neil MacPhail

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A young person is taken into custody.
A young person is taken into custody.

THE charity youth service Fearless is flourishing throughout Scotland as a dozen national appeals focus on high harm crimes, according to its parent body Crimestoppers.

Intelligence received anonymously saw children safeguarded, knives, knuckledusters and baseball bats seized, and a raid on a house uncovering a huge quantity of illegal drugs.

In 2021 Fearless saw record numbers of young people visit their website to find out more information about crime and to speak up 100% anonymously.

Responding to Covid induced school and youth service closures in the first half of the year, Fearless.org delivered 12 Scotland-wide campaigns focused on empowering young people with key information about high harm crimes.

As a result, the website was visited more than 90,000 times by young people from all across Scotland. This represents a 120% increase compared with 2020.

Here are just a few anonymous examples of where Fearless information has helped to keep Scottish communities and vulnerable individuals safe from harm:

FOLLOWING a hard-hitting youth violence campaign, a number of weapons were found in the possession of an individual who was not known to the police and posed a danger to others.

FEARLESS intel led to a significant amount of drugs being seized from a property along with a number of weapons including knuckledusters, baseball bats and knives.

INFORMATION relating to child harm and neglect was received and acted upon. Children living at the property were identified as at risk and needing additional support from professional services.

Lyndsay McDade, national youth projects coordinator for Crimestoppers Scotland, said: “The information we receive from young people is crucial in making Scotland safer for everyone. "Fearless.org is an absolute safety net for young people.

"For those uncomfortable about contacting the police directly, our independence and guarantee of anonymity gives them a crucial and much-needed alternative. We take what they know and pass it on whilst keeping them completely anonymous.

“Last year was full of highlights for Fearless Scotland and it’s been a real privilege to witness and be part of our remarkable growth. I thank each and every young person who has trusted our charity and chosen to do the right thing by speaking up anonymously.

“As we start this New Year, I would ask young people to continue to trust us with what you know or suspect – assured that you will remain 100% anonymous always. Through Fearless.org, you have a tangible, safe way to make your community a better, safer place to live.”

Ash Regan MSP, Minister for Community Safety, said: “I thank Fearless for their continued support to young people by providing information and advice about these very serious issues and how they can report anything they know or suspect about crime 100% anonymously at Fearless.org .

“The figures show this information has already proven vital in helping police tackle crime and prevent harm.

“I encourage any young person who witnesses, or has any information about crime, to report it and help keep their communities safe and resilient."

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: "Having a trusted, secure and reliable crime prevention resource like Fearless available to Scotland's children and young people is invaluable. The organisation is a valued and trusted partner for Police Scotland and their contribution to helping to keep the people and neighbourhoods of our country safe, is highly significant.

"These examples show the extent of criminality which an anonymous tip-off can intercept, and the level of harm the perpetrators could have inflicted on individuals and communities may well have been substantial."

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