Scottish knife crime down over festive period

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KNIFE crime fell by more than a quarter during the festive season, according to new Crown Office figures.

Prosecutors believe warnings of stronger sentences for people caught with a blade have had an effect.

There were 189 knife crime cases reported between 1 December and 4 January, compared to 264 between the same dates in 2011 to 2012.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland had warned anyone caught in possession of a knife would be prosecuted on indictment before a sheriff and jury, meaning they would face a maximum of fours year in jail instead of one.

“The significant reduction is very encouraging. The impact on the numbers of cases is positive in that there is a decrease in the knife crime offences being reported,” Mr Mulholland said.

The reduction has been welcomed by police and politicians.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Working together we are making progress – the number of people caught carrying offensive weapons is down to its lowest level in 18 years.” Karyn McCluskey, director of the Violence Reduction Unit, added: “We can not rest on our laurels. There are still people in Scotland who think it is acceptable to carry and use a knife.”