Knife crime crackdown introduced

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A ZERO tolerance crackdown on people who carry knives was today introduced by prosecutors.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said anyone caught with a knife in Scotland’s town and city centres will be prosecuted before a sheriff and a jury.

The move allows greater sentencing power for the sheriff and increases the maximum prison term from one to four years.

It follows a successful six-week pilot over the festive period aimed at preventing knife offences and reducing violence.

The crackdown was enforced by police between December 12 last year and January 23. It provided a “snapshot” of knife-related crime and demonstrated the value in making the tougher action permanent, COPFS said.

Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, said: “From today, the zero tolerance policy in our town and city centres will be a permanent part of our prosecution policy.”