It's a wonder I made it to work alive this morning! According to a report released today, Glasgow's gang levels are on par with London's.
The report warned that there were 170 teenage gangs in Glasgow - the same number as in London, despite it having just a sixth of the population of the English capital. Nevermind that the report does not define what a "gang" exactly is. And where does that number of 170 come from? An indepth study on poverty perhaps? No. Rather, this new report cites this article from 4 June 2006 of The Independent. And where does the journalist get those numbers from? Who knows because there is no footnote or citation?!
It should also be noted that the "think tank" that released this report is the right-leaning Centre for Social Justice - an organisation that was set up by the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith. In his introduction, Iain Duncan Smith even name drops David Cameron. Sorry but I don't trust politicians - especially Conservative ones. Nor do I trust that this report is especially non-partisan.
I'm not denying that Glasgow has its fair share of social problems - obviously it does, like any major city - but sometimes folks need to read beyond the bold print headlines. Frankly, this new report from the Centre for Social Justice sounds dodgy.
Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council, said, more tactfully: "It's well-documented that Glasgow still has a major challenge in terms of our long-standing and deep-rooted social problems. It's almost every six months that we get another one of these reports that highlights the challenge that we face."
"Ten years ago when Labour came to power, 40% of school leavers in this city went straight into unemployment - that has now halved - and in some schools in the east end it's been reduced to 10%."
Bet the Centre for Social Justice didn't put that in their report.