A crime prevention scheme that helped a teenager who had committed nearly 600 offences to go straight is being rolled out to three new cities.
The programme, that sees mentors including ex-offenders help young people escape a life of serious crime, has run in Glasgow since 2013 and stopped 45 out of its most recent group of 49 candidates from re-offending.
Its successes include the teenager, who committed nearly 600 crimes including low level vandalism and theft, as well as drug offences.
Four high-risk young people were also diverted away from secure care homes, saving Glasgow City Council more than £500,000 over six months.
Action for Children, which runs the Serious Organised Crime Early Intervention service, now has £4.6m in National Lottery funding to extend the scheme to Edinburgh, Newcastle and Cardiff.
It involves peer mentors helping 11 to 18-year-olds who are at risk of getting involved in serious crimes like drug dealing and violence.
Paul Carberry, Action for Children director for Scotland, said: “Serious organised crime is an issue for the whole of the UK, disproportionately impacts the more vulnerable in our communities, and has a greater presence in socially and economically disadvantaged areas.
“Since 2013 this project has worked intensively with more than 70 young people across Glasgow, diverting them away from a life in serious organised crime and into employment.
“The success from Scotland will lead the way across the UK to help ensure that every child and young person in the country has a safe and happy childhood with the foundations they need to thrive.”