About The Project




The Police, like many other Scottish public sector bodies, are undergoing a transformation. They recognise that the best way to reduce crime is to engage with communities, listen to what people aspire to, and support the development of activities that allow them to deliver safe, vibrant and flourishing places.

As part of the We Are Listening project, the Police are engaging with local artists to encourage and enable artistic and community endeavours. The artists involved in the project are supporting a process where local people come together to dream, plan and develop projects to deliver a shared vision.

This is the first Police Scotland artist in residence initiative and it is being piloted in Govan, Glasgow.

This project is funded by Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures programme, with support from Chief Inspector Tony Bone, Fablevision, Govan Police and The Wheatley Group. Helen Street Police Station is opening its doors to three artists working locally: Susan Garde Pettie, Kathleen Friend and Liz Gardiner. These three residencies are producing new and exciting work in co-operation with Prophet Scotland, Gallus Games and Fablevision respectively.

We Are Listening requires us to listen, inspire creativity, support local initiatives and embolden local people to fulfil their dreams, aspirations and ambitions.

The themes of the project were generated from a series of local “Listening Events” initiated by the Police. The project requires outcomes from local listening events to inform a “Strategic Listening Group” which includes policy makers within Police Scotland, Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government and other public sector bodies.

The aim of We Are Listening is to demonstrate how the Govan experience illustrates new approaches in policing and community engagement. This local case study will inform the thinking and mindset of the national force towards confidence with creative policing methodologies. It will contribute to a realisation that artists and creativity can address major social issues in communities through such initiatives.

Supporting us in our listening are a group of young volunteers who are all aged between 18 and 25 and who have been recommended to us by Govan Job Centre, ProjectScotland or SCVO. Find out more about our Young Detectives by following the link on the left.