Listen Here:

The NSPCC has launched a new campaign urging the public to act on doubts about child safety, as new figures show most people wait at least a month before picking up the phone.

In the last six months, 374 people from Scotland contacted the NSPCC with concerns about a child that were considered so serious they warranted immediate action. Of those, over one third had waited at least a month with an additional 26 per cent waiting more than six.

The figures come as a new viral campaign, made by Skins and Billy Elliot director Amanda Boyle, is launched in partnership with parents’ website Netmums.

The campaign, entitled ‘Don’t wait until you’re certain’ mimics a well-known online series but carries a serious message and has already received over 25,000 YouTube hits in its first 72hours online.

The campaign film was inspired by the popular ‘Sh*t Girls Say’ series, which parodies the things girls stereotypically say. The NSPCC clip uses the idea to dramatic effect drawing attention to ‘The $#*! Kids Say’, slang for the familiar ‘kids say the funniest things’.

“I’ve been stabbed because of my sexuality.”

This pupil is one of thousands of victims of homophobic bullying in schools across the UK. Almost two thirds of young people, in the gay community, experience bullying in secondary schools. The charitable organisation Stonewall, which lends support to the gay community, found that homophobic bullying, after taunting because of weight, is the most frequent form of abuse in secondary schools. It is three times more prevalent than bullying due to religion or ethnicity. Unfortunately, a culture of homophobia exists in many school environments and this creates problems for young people trying to come to terms with their sexuality.

Previous poster campaign by Stonewall. Image courtesy of Stonewall.org.uk

by Ryan C. Gavan

Being an impartial observer, spending time covering the Old Firm clash at Hampden Park yesterday was an experience in the very least. It was the first time the teams have met since the much publicised game two weeks ago, all eyes were watching. I went wondering whether the fans had taken any notice of the warnings or the Summit on the Old Firm.

Union Jacks and Tricolors are abundant at Old Firm matches. Photo: R Gavan

I was greeted by a very heavy police presence. It looked to me like a the preparation for a riot. Mixing with fans on both sides, I noticed that the sectarian attitude is engrained to Old Firm meetings. Tri-colours on one side, Union Jacks on the other, it goes beyond religion to politics, using that term very loosely. One Rangers fan had a scarf with the words “William of Orange” while a Celtic fan wore a top with “Bobby Sands MP” embroidered in orange and green. Speaking to both sets of fans, they blame the other for the trouble. The real issue here is the culture, the so-called “90-minute bigot.” They go to the game, sing their sectarian songs and go home, not thinking about it until the next meeting. The issue for politicians, police and the Old Firm itself, is how to change years of hatred. Many wonder whether this is even possible.

by Jane Bretin and Adam Smyth

Today’s report from NHS health Scotland has revealed that Scottish alcohol consumption is at its highest level in 30 years.

Credit mhaithaca

The report states that alcohol consumption per person has risen by 1.2 liters of pure alcohol a year compared to 1994. It also showed that shop sales have increased significantly with spirits accounting for the largest part of the sales.

As the study showed, Scots are the biggest drinkers in the United Kingdom, well ahead of England and Wales. This raises the question, once again of minimum pricing per unit of alcohol and issue of what pushes the Scottish people to drink. Jennifer Curran, head of policy for Alcohol Focus Scotland told Edinburgh Napier news : “alcohol is now more affordable, more available and is more heavily marketed than at any time over the last 30 years.