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Knife Crime (West Scotland)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 6th January 2016.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

Absolutely. On the latter point, I reassure the member that we will not let up our efforts to tackle knife crime.

We have consistently said that the best way to tackle violence is through education and prevention. Our £2.9 million no knives, better lives campaign has been a great success. The member referred to East Renfrewshire, which has had an 82 per cent fall. In North Ayrshire, the decrease has been even bigger at 85 per cent. The campaign has an opt-in national model of delivery that is flexible to suit local needs. To date, 11 new local authorities have expressed an interest in it, and six of them are now actively involved in delivering the programme.

Through the no knives, better lives campaign, we are reaching out to parents and practitioners as well as to young people to highlight the fact that carrying an offensive weapon is completely unacceptable, that it can have devastating consequences and that there is never an excuse for carrying a knife. We will continue to work tirelessly with all our partners to get that message across.