Call for tough punishment

AMONG the incidents recorded this year was a knife-point robbery at shop assistant Qamar Zulfiqar's store.

He had to comfort a colleague minutes after she was robbed by a knife-wielding thug in the Lasswade Road shop.

The robber held up the Lasswade News Plus store, threatening to kill Sadia Anwar, 29, for a packet of cigarettes.

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Mr Zulfiqar, pictured, said he believed harsher punishment would act as an effective deterrent to those thinking about carrying a weapon.

"No-one should be carrying a knife in a public place," he said. "If they are, it should be taken off them.

"If there was a law saying if you are caught carrying a knife you will get six or eight months in prison, I think less people will consider carrying them.They will think before they take out a knife."

The robbery in June was not the first time Mr Zulfiqar had encountered knives on the streets of Edinburgh. He was victim of an attempted knifepoint mugging two years ago.