Background: Cracking down on Scotland's knife culture after 'too many lives lost'

THE Scottish Government-backed No Knives, Better Lives campaign was launched in June 2009 to highlight the dangers of carrying a knife.

The initiative brought together several groups of young people who were already campaigning against knife crime in their area.

It was initially piloted in Inverclyde by the Scottish Government in partnership with Inverclyde Council.

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Now there are also local groups of the campaign in Edinburgh Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Clackmannanshire and West Dunbartonshire.

The campaign is often shown on posters, cinema adverts, online films bus advertisements and pavement chalk stencils.

School education programmes are also a key part of the campaign and the main message of the initiative is to get across the devastating consequences that carrying a knife can have on their own future, as well as on their family and friends.

The Scottish Government has supported the scheme with hundreds of thousands of pounds and ministers have appeared at events promoting the scheme.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill previously said the scheme was needed because "far too many lives are lost and people injured through mindless acts of violence".

He said lives were often lost "because of the knife culture" in Scotland and that action was needed to "change the culture around violence in Scotland".

Police, local authorities and community safety partnerships have also been heavily involved in the campaign.