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VOW Project – Police Scotland

Last updated: 11th July 2024

Type of service:


Need supported:

  • Employability / Training / Career
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Young People


The programme is for young people engaged in offending behaviour/on the cusp of offending behaviour. The project is currently measured against 6 specific Outcomes that are set by Cashback for Communities, with separate indicators under each outcome. The general outcomes include: Building Confidence and Resilience, benefitting from support networks and reducing risk taking behaviour Developing personal and physical skills Improvement in health and well-being Participation in activity which improves learning, employability, training and volunteering Positive contributions being made to their communities Diversion from criminal behaviour or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Suitability criteria:

  • Male only
  • Adolescent (17 and under), Young adult (18-35)

Assessment/referral process:

  • Other

Males aged 16-25 years Other – Police Scotland, Aid & Abet.

The VOW Project identify candidates who are repeatedly offending and coming to the attention of police and partners on a regular basis. Referrals are also taken from front line officers and specialists, those in custody, justice social work, Young Person’ Service, solicitors and a range of other areas. The VOW Project assess suitability for the project. Interventions will vary in relation to duration, with the key factor being, that individuals are willing to work with the team to turn their life around and engage with the support offered.

Contact information:

Further Information:

The VOW Project is a collaborative initiative involving police officers, working alongside peer mentors, who use their lived experience of the criminal justice system, trauma, and adversity to make a difference to the lives of young people. The team works with vulnerable young people, providing a level of support which assists them break the cycle of criminality and re-offending and reduce the level of risk-taking behaviours. Through positive mentoring, empowerment and partnership working with a range of organisations, the young people are supported to make positive lifestyle changes and rebuild their lives and relationships with the aim of improving their outcomes/ destinations. Police officers are assisted by peer mentors who carry out initial interactions using their own life experience and support the young people to take their first steps in moving away from their harm inducing behaviour. Existing strengths are explored, relationships built, and the young people are supported in a safe environment. The team discover the young person’ aspirations and establish themselves as positive role models, providing a high level of support and encouragement. An action plan is agreed around reducing offending, building relationships, mental-health resilience, and identifying employment/ training/ voluntary opportunities, using both statutory and third sector partners.