PP Award 2012The Paolo Pertica Award was established in 2004 by the European Network of Drugs and Infections Prevention in Prisons (ENDIPP) to mark the 10 year anniversary of the network. The creation of ENDIPP stemmed largely from Paolo’s work with prisoners from a wide range of different nationalities incarcerated in London prisons. The award was created to acknowledge his contribution to the development of work with drug using prisoners in the UK and within European criminal justice systems.

The award for 2012 was presented by Paolo during the conference, to the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. The citation for the award stated that it was given “for their collaborative efforts to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to the deep rooted problems of violence associated with drug and alcohol use for individuals and their communities”.

In Scotland violence is a chronic problem, including that related to alcohol and drug misuse. Although overall levels of crime have fallen in the West of Scotland, levels of violent crime, in particular knife crime, have remained relatively constant for the last 40 years.


In response to concern about violent crime, particularly rising levels of knife crime, in January 2005 Strathclyde Police established the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to target all forms of violent behaviour, in particular knife crime and weapon carrying among young men in and around Glasgow. In April 2006 the Unit’s remit was extended nationwide by the Scottish Executive, creating a national centre of expertise on tackling violence.


Adopting the public health approach as described in the WHO's World Report On Violence and Health (2002), the unit has simple aims: to reduce violent crime and behaviour by working with partner agencies to achieve long-term societal and attitudinal change, and, by focusing on enforcement, to contain and manage individuals who carry weapons or who are involved in violent behaviour.


The VRU is headed by co-directors Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan QPM and Karyn McCluskey.


Paolo Pertica

Paolo worked within a number of drug service providers, managing a wide range of services for drug users, most of who were in prison, or being dealt with within other parts of the criminal justice system. Amongst these organisations was the Prisoners Resource Service, where he was the Service Manager. The work of this pioneering service provided much of the model adopted by HM Prison Service to develop their CARAT services and was seen by colleagues in other countries involved in EDIPP as an effective approach. Paolo travelled extensively to provide consultancy and training for these colleagues and is still held in high esteem by many of them.

Paolo moved away from service delivery and also away from London in 2001 relocating to Blackpool, where he has worked in the commissioning and strategic development of a range of services, including in the fields of drugs and crime reduction. He is now a senior manager within the local council and spends his free time fishing and supporting Blackpool Football Club.

In addition to ENDIPP, the International Harm Reduction Association previously acted as the custodian of the award and now this responsibility resides with Knowledge Action Change.

Previous Recipients of the Award




Elena Grigoryeva



Marina Goloviznina

Russian Federation


Saman Zamani



Tijana Pavicevic