Knives, drugs and needles are just some of the thousands of items being confiscated at courthouses in Scotland every year, we can reveal.
Security staff seized more than 13,000 items at courthouse security gates last year - the equivalent of 36 every day.
This included 1,300 knives and 2,558 other bladed or pointed objects.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service described the high number as a “success” and said it shows their security provisions are working effectively.
However, a leading knife-crime awareness charity has raised concerns about people trying to carry weapons into courts despite the high likelihood of being caught.
‘Scourge of knife crime’
The number of knives seized at courthouses fell marginally (by one per cent) last year when compared to the year before, while the number of other bladed or pointed items seized fell by 21 per cent.
Patrick Green, chief executive of knife-crime awareness charity The Ben Kinsella Trust, said this was encouraging.
He said: “However, the figures show that some people still feel the need to intentionally bring a knife to court even when they know that there is a high likelihood that they will be caught.
“Despite this good news, knife-carrying is still a problem and we must continue working to stop the scourge of knife crime.
“We must remain committed to taking knives and those who carry them off our streets and educating our young people about the dangers associated with carrying a knife."
Hundreds of knives seized at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Glasgow Sheriff Court was found to have had the most items seized at security gates last year, with 3,873 items confiscated in total, data obtained from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service under Freedom of Information laws shows.
This was followed by Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where 3,476 items were seized by security staff, and Paisley Sheriff Court, where 1,423 items were found.
Last year 1,300 knives and 2,558 other bladed or pointed objects were seized at courts in Scotland. Image: Shutterstock
Edinburgh Sheriff Court had the highest number of knives confiscated at security, with 415 seized, while a further 660 bladed or pointed objects were also found.
The data did not reveal which type of knives were seized - such as whether their blades were over the 3in legal limit for carrying in public.
The number of drugs seizures at Scottish court buildings rose by 35 per cent from 2017 to 2018, while alcohol seizures rose by 28 per cent.
Any potential weapon reported to police
A spokesperson for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said: “The confiscation figures reflect a success story and show that our security measures are working well.
“Any item which is considered to be a potential risk to public safety could be confiscated on entering a court building.
Last year thousands of items were seized at security including drugs and needles. Image: Shutterstock
“The discovery of any weapon or potential weapon by staff is immediately reported to the police.
“Many recorded confiscations are domestic items which people bring to court but are inappropriate to take into a courtroom. To ensure safety in court buildings, items like hair straighteners, work tools and flasks are confiscated and returned on exiting.”