Violent murder shocks UK
A charity has moved to reassure young people and parents following the murder of a 14 year old boy in Glasgow.
Justin McLaughlin was stabbed in an incident at High Street train station on Saturday.
A 16 year old boy has since been arrested on suspicion of his murder.
Angela Parker, Scotland manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said many comments on social media over the weekend were from parents expressing how frightened they are for their own sons and daughters when they go out but said these tragic incidents are very rare.
She said: “Sometimes young people can be frightened of the consequences of speaking up. They often feel afraid of the stigma that it could bring or from threats of violence or reprisal to them or their family.
“So, my message to young people is that if something is bothering you then you need to speak up about it – no matter how difficult that seems. Unless you do, things will stay the same or, potentially, get worse.”
Lyndsay McDade, National Youth Coordinator at Fearless, the youth service at Crimestoppers, added: “Violent crime and weapon possession has reduced considerably in Scotland over the past decade but, as a mum, I know that can be of absolutely no comfort to the family of 14-year-old Justin McLaughlin who was murdered in Glasgow on Saturday.
“At the end of September, we launched our youth violence and weapon possession campaign. We spoke with Lynn Burns whose son Sam was murdered in 2013 and produced a podcast which we shared on Snapchat so that young people all over Scotland could hear firsthand the consequences of violence. Lynn described it as being ‘like someone had taken a big grenade and launched it into their lives and their life has never been the same again and it never will.’
“In the first week alone, over 6,000 young people in Scotland visited our landing page to find out more and we received multiple, actionable reports that we were able to pass on to police 100% anonymously.
“Young people want to live safe lives. They don’t want to see their families or friends get hurt. They want their communities to be safe and happy places but sometimes things happen and quickly it all becomes out of control.
“That's where our charity comes in. Fearless.org allows young people to speak up with information about crime 100% anonymously. That means our charity can't track your IP address or any contact details. Nobody will ever know the information came from you.”