Sunday January 03, 2016

Meet the cop who brought down the murder rate in inner-city Glasgow

Karyn McCluskey believes in treating violent crime as a public health issue: a disease that is toxic and contagious.

Karyn McCluskey believes in treating violent crime as a public health issue: a disease that is toxic and contagious.

Listen 22:18

In 2002, the World Health Organization declared Glasgow the murder capital of Europe. It had an average of 71 killings every year. Last year, there were only 14. Young men carrying knives had been a particular threat, but instead of seeing them as a public menace, the police are now treating violent crime as a public health issue: a disease that is toxic and contagious. 

The success in treating violent crime this way, is due to the work of Karyn McCluskey. She is a former nurse and qualified forensic psychologist, who heads up the Violence Reduction Unit of the Glasgow police department.