The Violence Reduction Unit

IT IS a stiflingly hot morning and Karyn McCluskey is sitting at her desk with the windows closed, as usual, to keep in the heat. She wears a dark dress, a silk scarf and snakeskin-effect heels, and she keeps her blue eyes fixed on the print-out in front of her: a colour photograph of a… Read more »

A taste of Govanhill

GEORGE Verrecchia, a dapper gent of 84, stands in the doorway of the Bungalow Cafe, which he has owned since 1949, watching folk pass to and fro along Victoria Road: a woman in a black hijab with a small girl who is wearing a brown headscarf and carrying a pink schoolbag; a halal butcher in a… Read more »

Whatever Happened To The Castlemilk Lads?

IT is early 1963 and a group of schoolboys are standing on a green hill in Castlemilk, Europe’s largest housing estate, having their photograph taken. They jostle in front of the camera, crowding into the frame, anxious to be in the picture. One stands on tip-toe, leans his chin on another’s shoulder, and stares straight… Read more »

Inside the cold case squad

COLD case is a term used to refer to a serious crime, principally a murder, which has gone unsolved and some time later is investigated again. But it’s a misnomer. Such cases are rarely cold. Of course, there are murders that took place so long ago everyone connected with the crime is either dead or… Read more »

Stories from the grey area: social work in Scotland

ON A bitter February morning with snow on the ground and fog in the air, screeching seagulls chase each other round the CCTV cameras outside a tower block. An old man calls up to one of the flats. A young woman sticks her head out. “Jimmy, wait the now,” she shouts. “I’ve got social work… Read more »