No knives better lives campaign continues to grow

Kenny McAskill is to double funding to the scheme (Picture by Murray M. Carter)

A HARD-HITTING knife crime campaign which has proven highly successful in educating young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife is to be launched in North and South Lanarkshire today.

The announcement follows a pledge by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to double the funding of the award-winning scheme to ensure young people in more communities in Scotland can benefit from the No Knives Better Lives anti-knife crime campaign.

The scheme contributed to a 35 per cent reduction in knife carrying in Inverclyde and a 29 per cent reduction in knife carrying in neighbouring Renfrewshire during the period of campaigns there.

Under the initiative, a range of innovative tactics, targeted advertising in areas where young people are known to congregate, diversionary activities, work in schools and youth work interventions will be used to get the message across.

Attending today’s announcement during a visit to Hamilton, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, said: “There is a culture of knife crime in parts of Scotland which stretches back decades and sadly, as we’ve seen from recent tragic events, communities continue to suffer the heartache of loved ones lost or injured as a result of knives.

“There are clearly no easy solutions but we want to do everything we possibly can to stop the next generation of young Scots from going down the wrong path in life.

“There will be absolutely no let up in our efforts because every knife incident is one too many.”

Latest official statistics show that recorded crime is at its lowest level in 35 years, the number of people carrying an offensive weapon in Scotland is down to its lowest level in a decade, down 38% since 2006/07, and those convicted of carrying a knife are now serving the longest prison sentences in a decade.

As well as supporting and promoting quality educational and diversionary activities for young people, the No Knives Better Lives team also seeks to reassure local residents that meaningful efforts are being made to improve safety in their community.