PHYVR project introduction film launched

16 Jun 2022

In June 2022, we launched the PHYVR project introduction film, which can be viewed here:

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Alistair Fraser interviewed in the Sunday Herald about the future of Scottish justice

4 Mar 2022


Neil Mackay's "Big Read" in the Sunday Herald on 20th February 2022 was an extended interview with Alistair Fraser, the PHYVR project Principal Investigator.

The piece began: "Our jails are full, it’s mostly the poor and addicted behind bars, and violent crime is rising. What can Scotland do to make our country a safer and more just society? Neil Mackay speaks to one the nation’s leading criminologists Dr Alistair Fraser to find out.

It might help to think of Dr Alistair Fraser and his team as mechanics. They lift the bonnet of the Scottish criminal justice system and poke around …

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Alistair Fraser presents BBC Radio 3 programme exploring the history, present and future of Glasgow's Gorbals

10 Oct 2021

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PHYVR project Principal Investigator Alistair Fraser is BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, and recently presented a programme for the channel exploring the history, present and future of Glasgow's Gorbals.

Just as the musical and 1961 film West Side Story immortalised the gangs of New York, the Gorbals became famous for its gangland culture - brought to life in the pages of the 1935 novel No Mean City by H. Kingsley Long and Alexander McArthur.

In both cities, the gangs emerged out of urban community tensions, poverty and unemployment. As Steven Spielberg's new version of West Side City is released …

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Alistair Fraser featured on University of Glasgow "Spotlight" podcast discussing PHYVR project

30 Sep 2021

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PHYVR project Principal Investigator Alistair Fraser is featured on the latest University of Glasgow "Spotlight" podcast, discussing the public health approach to violence reduction; the work of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit; similarities and differences between Glasgow and London's youth cultures; and the knotty problem of social change - among other things!

You can listen here.

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Alistair Fraser featured on BBC Radio Four discussing "Scotland’s Most Controversial Drink"

12 Sep 2021


Shedding its associations with street crime and violence, Buckfast is now drunk in upmarket cocktail bars, trendy restaurants and hipster haunts.

BBC presenter Jaega Wise visited Glasgow to hear about this transformation, to find out what a wine produced by monks in Devon can tell us about modern Scotland.

Among others, she spoke to PHYVR project Principal Investigator Alistair Fraser, who discussed changing patterns of violence and street culture in Glasgow, as well as about the cultural connotations of this most controversial beverage.

You can listen to the programme here.

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Alistair Fraser publishes review of Ciaran Thapar's "Cut Short: Youth violence, loss and hope in the city"

13 Aug 2021


Ciaran Thapar is a youth worker and writer. Found in both GQ Magazine and South London community youth centres, Thapar brings his front-line insights to mass audiences. Earlier this year, he published his first book, Cut Short, centred on his experiences working with young people in London, and on the stories of three young men in particular. PHYVR project Principal Investigator Alistair Fraser reviewed Cut Short for the Times Literary Supplement, opening his review as follows:

"Ciaran Thapar’s Cut Short: Youth violence, loss and hope in the city takes the reader back to a time, only a few years …

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PHYVR team present at the BSC annual conference 2021

7 Jul 2021

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On Wednesday 7th July, the PHYVR team will be presenting two papers at the British Society of Criminology annual conference 2021.

The first paper is being given by Dr. Fern Gillon, Professor Susan McVie and Dr. Alistair Fraser, with the title: The Violence Revolution? Public Health, Youth and Violence Reduction in Scotland.

The second paper, entitled: Public Health Approaches to Violence Reduction: A Case of Cross-national Policy Mobility? , is being presented by Luke Billingham, Dr. Keir Irwin-Rogers and Professor Tim Newburn.

Both papers are exploratory in nature given the early stages the research, but the team is looking forward …

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Launch of strategic briefing on public health approaches to violence reduction

6 Jul 2021

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Research in Practice have today published a strategic briefing on public health approaches to violence reduction, co-authored by PHYVR team members Alistair Fraser and Keir Irwin-Rogers.

The briefing does three main things:

  • distils the core features of public health approaches and explains their potential for reducing violence
  • outlines how system leaders can ensure they play their part in creating and implementing public health approaches to violence reduction
  • explores some of the potential problems and possible solutions associated with public health approaches

You can download the strategic briefing and read more about this piece of work here.

A public health …

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Major new violence reduction research project launched

5 Jul 2021

Scotland once had the unenviable position of being the most violent country in the developed world until an innovative public health approach brought radical reductions in violent crimes in the last decade. Though territorial gangs once dominated headlines about Glasgow, today youth violence has reduced significantly.

While the Violence Reduction Unit and its various initiatives have gathered considerable attention from practitioners, politicians and the press, the reasons why certain policies worked in Scotland has remained unclear.

Now a team of researchers led by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research will soon embark on a three-year project, funded by …

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Luke Billingham featured on Contextual Safeguarding podcast discussing the role of sports cages & ball courts in young people's lives

18 Mar 2021

PHYVR project Research Associate Luke Billingham - who is also a Youth & Community Worker in Hackney, East London - was recently featured on the Contextual Safeguarding podcast, discussing the role that sports cages and ball courts can play in the lives of young people.

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to safeguarding children and young people which responds to their experiences of harm outside the home.

In the podcast, Luke discusses how and why 'cages' can be both places of safety and places of harm for young people. They can be places which help make life worth living, but they …

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