FACENorth // Edinburgh
Out of crime and into hope

A group of young men in North Edinburgh had been involved in anti-social behaviour and youth crime, many involved in serious offences. 90% of this group had experienced four or more ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) risk factors. Locally and city-wide it was agreed that a different approach was required.

Pilton Youth and Children’s Project set up a new initiative called FACENorth (an acronym for Focusing on Alternatives to Crime Edinburgh North). The project began in April 2014 and has had a range of successes, engaging with young people involved in or at risk of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour. Taking time to build relationships and trust with young people enables the group to challenge these young men on their behaviours without disengagement. Maintaining trusting relationships with workers is key to the success of the project which helps the group move forward with their personal goals.

Over the last six years, the programme has been designed and led by the young people. It has allowed them to develop skills and self-worth, helping them take pride in their achievements and restoring their place in the community. The support is ongoing and there is no time frame to the service. Young people engage voluntarily and can access support at any time.

The project includes a scheme of work, community based clean-ups and the Midnight & Beyond programme where young people are taken out of the area until 3.00am! Different elements of support include teaching, employment, court and family issues.

The impact of FACENorth so far...

The number of young people incurring charges dropped by 28% in 2015, a further 62% in 2016 and by 82% in 2017. Due to GDPR, these figures couldn’t be matched for 2018/19, but stats from Police Scotland for the local area related to the young people we work with were...

  • In 2019 police calls involving stolen vehicles went down 66% compared to 2018, motorbike crime reduced by 40% and anti-social behaviour by 58%.
  • Bonfire Night 2018 saw a 60% reduction in anti-social behaviour compared to 2017.
  • In 2019 house break-ins saw a reduction of 31% compared to 2018.