Following the publication of ‘Violence and what to do about it’ Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, head of the Violence Reduction Unit in Strathclyde, immediately recognised the power of the WAVE message. His decades of experience as a homicide investigator had taught him that conventional police approaches to violence reduction just were not working, and that a more root cause oriented strategy was needed.
WAVE provided John with a blueprint of how to go about this, including recommending such global best practice interventions as Nurse Family Partnership and Roots of Empathy.
On 9th January 2006 the leading Scottish newspaper, The Herald, published three major articles on the work of the Violence Reduction Unit and WAVE Trust.
In March 2006 the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) launched the Scottish Violence Prevention Alliance to tackle violence and develop sustainable medium- and long-term reductions in levels of violence in Scotland. George Hosking was one of the main speakers at the launch event and during the remainder of 2006, on behalf of the VRU, made a number of presentations of WAVE’s primary prevention and early intervention message to Scottish policy makers, including senior civil servants in Edinburgh, and officers of the Scottish Executive.
The Scottish Government extended the remit of the Strathclyde VRU to cover the whole of Scotland and it was renamed the Scottish VRU and WAVE has continued to co-operate with this organisation. In March 2008 the Scottish Government published the landmark document ‘Early Years and Early Intervention’ whose aims were to change the early-years framework to give every child in Scotland the best start in life.
Government policy in Scotland has become increasingly preventative and key publications include, in January 2011, the publication by the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee of its ‘Report on preventative spending’. Dr Christine Puckering, Glasgow Southern General Hospital, adviser to the Scottish Government said:
'The message of the WAVE report is so clear and so well argued that I have circulated it widely to clinical colleagues and policy makers. The findings are particularly powerful because of the status of WAVE as an independent NGO/charity without any other axe to grind. There have been numerous references to the report in policy and practice discussions and the Director of Public Health in Glasgow has entirely endorsed the content and importance of the early years for the prevention of later violence. A small task force is currently drawing up a coherent intervention strategy and the WAVE report is playing a significant role in shaping the content of this strategy.'