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Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Edel Ke­nealy

Shock fig­ures have re­vealed the Cam­bus­lang post­code area to have the se­cond high­est num­ber of young of­fend­ers in Scot­land over the past four years.

Be­tween 2011 and 2015, 90 young men from the G72 post­code were locked up.

The Cam­bus­lang post­code has been listed se­cond in a league ta­ble of ar­eas that pro­duce the most young crim­i­nals.

The G72 code, cover ing Cam­bus­lang and Blan­tyre, saw 90 young­sters caged be­tween 2012 and 2015.

Fig­ures for those at­tend­ing Pol­mont Young Of­fend­ers in­sti­tute in Stir­ling show that Cam­bus­lang was only se­cond to neigh­bour­ing Wishaw when it came to the num­ber of men aged be­tween 16 and 21 who were locked up.

Also in the South La­nark­shire Coun­cil area, Wishaw’s ML2 post­code saw 113 of its young men jailed in the past four years.

Third place went to the G81 post­code, cov­er­ing Clyde­bank and Dal­muir. It had 82 young­sters be­hind bars.

In Ruther­glen a to­tal of 53 young men were jailed in the four- year pe­riod - the same num­ber as the G20 post­code area which takes in Mary­hill and Ruchill.

The town was listed sev­enth in a league ta­ble for Glas­gow post­codes alone, with places such as Roys­ton, Spring­burn, Sighthill, Pol­lok, Pos­sil­park and Lamb­hill all pro­duc­ing high num­bers of young of­fend­ers.

The fig­ures, re­leased by the Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice, do not in­clude women aged un­der 21 who are nor­mally sent to Corn­ton Vale.

Coun­cil­lor Richard Tul­lett who rep­re­sents Cam­bus­lang West ward said: “It is worth re­mem­ber­ing that th­ese fig­ures cover a four-year pe­riod so they need to be seen in that con­text, but be­hind ev­ery statis­tic there is a vic­tim or vic­tims of crime.

“We need to be as­sured that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem works ap­pro­pri­ately by pun­ish­ing crim­i­nals for their crimes but also look­ing to re­ha­bil­i­tate.

“I know that there is a ten­dency to fo­cus on the is­sue of di­ver­sion­ary ac­tiv­i­ties and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties when talk­ing about this is­sue. Fa­cil­i­ties such as the Life­styles at East­field in my ward are im­por­tant in pro­vid­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for ev­ery­one in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, but the is­sue of fa­cil­i­ties should never be seen to pro­vide an ex­cuse for crime.”

A spokesman for the Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice how­ever said the fig­ures - re­vealed in a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest - showed there is a di­rect link be­tween peo­ple be­ing sent to prison and poverty.

He said: “The FOI is sim­ply a snap­shot of a mo­ment in time.

“We’ve done pre­vi­ous re­search that in­di­cates a strong cor­re­la­tion be­tween peo­ple in prison and de­pri­va­tion.”

But he said ef­forts to pre­vent young peo­ple get­ting into the prison sys­tem were pay­ing off, with a third fewer in cus­tody than six years ago.

In 2005, a study by for­mer Bar­lin­nie prison gov­er­nor Roger Houchin found that half the peo­ple in Scot­land’s jails came from the poor­est 155 of the coun­try’s 1200 coun­cil wards.

Fig­ures Ninety young men from the G72 post­code were sent to Pol­mont be­tween 2012 and 2015

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