Nicola Sturgeon pledges to tackle knife crime in wake of JP campaign

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to work with young people to tackle knife crime in schools when a Johnston Press campaign disclosing the scale of the problem was highlighted in the Scottish Parliament.
Nicola SturgeonNicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon was challenged to reduce violence in schools by the Conservative MSP Michelle Ballantyne

Ms Ballantyne quoted figures for Scotland unearthed by the UK wide campaign and published earlier this week in the Scotsman.

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The Conservative politician told the First Minister that between April and November 2017 80 school pupils were found with knives on school premises with a further 45 incidents of pupils being caught carrying an offensive weapon.

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would always work with partners to drive down “such unacceptable behaviour”.

She added: “We are investing millions of pounds in violence reduction programmes for young people: the no knives, better lives youth engagement programme has received funding since 2009, and the mentors in violence prevention programme is about empowering young people themselves to challenge and speak out against violent and abusive behaviour. The police have an important role to play when crimes are committed and in prevention, but much of our focus should be on working with young people to prevent behaviour of this type.”