Fall in offensive weapon crime welcomed

Scottish Justice secretary Michael Matheson has welcomed the fall in offensive weapon crime.
Scottish Justice secretary Michael Matheson has welcomed the fall in offensive weapon crime.
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JUSTICE Secretary Michael Matheson has welcomed the “dramatic” fall in the number of crimes involving offensive weapons as he visited a project aimed at educating young people on the dangers of carrying a knife.

Recent statistics show that crimes in Glasgow involving an offensive weapon have fallen by 76 per cent since 2006/07, and by 14 per cent in the last year.

Figures also show that violent crime in the city decreased by 12% between 2013/14 and 2014/15, and the number of homicides have fallen by 3 per cent over the same period.

Mr Matheson said the reductions were partly the result of initiatives such as the youth engagement project at Castlemilk Youth Complex in Glasgow.

He said: “Crimes of handling an offensive weapon have dropped dramatically and are now at their lowest level in 29 years while the number of young people under 19 convicted of handling an offensive weapon has fallen from 812 in 2006/07 to 165 in 2013/14.

“This is thanks, in no small part, to the fantastic initiatives like the one in Castlemilk, which I visited today, and the Scotland-wide No Knives, Better Lives programme.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the level of engagement already taking place in our schools and communities around the issue of knife crime.

“We know that knife crime has a devastating impact not only on individuals but family, friends and local communities, which is why our preventative approach aimed at educating young people about the potential consequences of carrying a knife is so important.”

The No Knives Better Lives initiative was set up in 2009 to to educate young people about the dangers and consequences associated with carrying a knife.

The Castlemilk project is based on the initiative, which has now been made available to all local authorities in the country.