CASH seized from organised criminals is to be ploughed into crime prevention in the communities blighted by their activities.
Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, will give 1.5 million to local councils to spend on CCTV, graffiti clean-ups and sports for youngsters.
The assets, which have been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, will be split between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire, the six councils with records of the most violent crime. The scheme will be extended eventually across the whole of Scotland.
The projects include night-time coaching sessions for youngsters with the professional basketball team Scottish Phoenix Honda Record Rocks.
The cash will also be used to deploy mobile CCTV and graffiti clean-up vans.
A new shop-a-dealer hotline and after-school clubs to tempt youngsters away from gangs will also be launched.