A PROJECT that is beating gang-violence in the East End of Glasgow is set to be rolled out across Scotland.

The Easterhouse Corridor Road Project has been hailed such a success that it is to act as a model for tackling gangs country-wide.

The ECRP was the brainchild of Stephen McGoldrick, a youth worker at the four-year-old Innerzone centre in Wellhouse.

Eleven young gang members from Wellhouse, Easthall and Barlanark took part in a seven-week course, giving them the skills to change their lives.

Staff used a confidence-building psychology course from Glasgow University to motivate the youngsters, together with talks from a range of people including police and drug addicts.

They were encouraged to socialise at Innerzone - a community centre which runs seven nights a week and gives young people a safe place to meet. Tackling youths the Chicago way GANG-busting techniques used in Chicago could help tackle the problem in Glasgow, a senior police officer has said.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan said the schemes, including mentoring projects, could be rolled out in Glasgow, where there's an estimated 170 gangs involving youngsters as young as 13.

The YMCA in Chicago builds up trust with gang members through tasks like helping them find a solicitor and joining them at court appearances. They then mentor young people to help them develop and plan for the future.

The YMCA's head of youth interventions, Kenny Ruiz, said: "You need to address the issue of families. What's going on in their families that's causing a void in their heart. Are they not in touch with their fathers? I think the school system has a strong role in that.

Mr Carnochan said: "There's lots in common, including a lack of role models. Lots of the things we already do but what we need to do is coordinate it a bit better."

Directly across the road kids have access to fitness equipment and youth workers run homework clubs and offer family support.

The club is designed for young people aged 6 to 25 but parents who need support are also welcome to drop in for advice.

One of the boys on the ECRP has gone on to start a full-time job while two others have gone on to college. The rest are happily settled back at school.

Now the project is to help other gang-riddled areas in Scotland. Stephen said while his group of 11 is small, the project will have a ripple effect throughout the three areas.

He added: "There are 55 gangs in the area and the fighting is extreme.

"The boys who took part had to be brave enough to stand up and break away from their gangs.

"They will now go out and speak to their friends and family and the project will reach many more people."

One mother, who asked not to be named, said: "I have seen a huge change in my boy. He's grown up. He knows what he wants to do with his life and that's brilliant."

Community police from the violence reduction unit gave support to the ECRP.

Officers spend time with youngsters and give a friendly face to the force.

Superintendent Michelle Martin said: "Working with these groups gives us the chance to catch young people before the damage is done and put them on the right path."

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was in Wellhouse yesterday to take a first-hand look at the project and others including the Playbusters community group.

Mr MacAskill toured Shettleston, Baillieston and Greater Easterhouse ahead of the Young People and Mentoring Seminar.

He said: "The project shows that the police, working with local communities, can offer our youngsters a real chance to get out of the cycle of offending and give them a real alternative."