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31/03/14 10:05

Offensive weapons crime down 60 per cent

Offensive weapons crime down 60 per cent: No Knives, Better Lives - Feature

Justice Secretary reveals figures at No Knives Better Lives event in Greenock.

Crimes of carrying an offensive weapon in Inverclyde have fallen by 60 per cent since the No Knives Better Lives campaign began in 2009, the Justice Secretary revealed today.

The figures were published as Kenny MacAskill visited young people benefitting from a mentoring programme in Greenock.

Statistics also showed that violent crime has fallen by 33 per cent in the same period – 2009/10 to 2012/13.

No Knives Better Lives was initially piloted in Inverclyde in 2009, and works with local partners including councils, police and youth groups.

It delivers activities in schools and communities to educate and inform young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife and the devastating consequences of knife crime for communities.

Since 2009, the No Knives Better Lives has been rolled out to ten other areas across Scotland.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, said:

“Crimes of handling an offensive weapon (including knives) have dropped dramatically in Inverclyde, falling by a massive 60 per cent since No Knives Better Lives was launched and are now at their lowest level in Scotland for 27 years.

“We have consistently said that the best way to tackle violence is through education and prevention and our campaign has been a great success, with handling offensive weapons crime reducing significantly in all eleven areas where the programme is running and youth crime across Scotland falling by 50 per cent over the last six years.

“There is never an excuse for carrying a knife and we will continue to work tirelessly with all of our partners to hammer the message home and change the culture in which some people think that carrying a weapon is acceptable. Backed by our education programmes Scotland already has the toughest knife crime sentencing regime in the UK and those caught risk a significant custodial sentence.”

Inverclyde Council Leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said:

"This campaign has had a significant impact on young people in Inverclyde but it is vital we maintain the momentum and continue to get the message across. Carrying a knife must not and will not be tolerated in our communities but we must also do all that we can to help young people make positive decisions about their lives."

Notes to editors

Find out more at www.noknivesbetterlives.com

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