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EK MSP Hails Drop In Knife Crime


18/09/15


Knife crime has plummeted by two thirds in South Lanarkshire in nearly a decade.

Official statistics show there were a staggering 589 recorded crimes of handling an offensive weapon, including knife crimes, in 2006-2007. However, from 2014-2015 the figure had dropped by 66 per cent to 203.

This has contributed to a fall in overall recorded crime levels to a dramatic 41 year low.


Since 2007 an additional 1,000 police officers are patrolling the streets of South Lanarkshire and, as well as enforcing legislation, the No Knives, Better Lives campaign is educating young people about the risks and consequences of carrying a knife.

Between 2006-07 and 2013-14 the number of young people under 19 convicted of handling an offensive weapon fell by 80 per cent – from 812 to 165.


East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani praised the hard work of Police Scotland officers and the SNP government for the huge drop in offensive weapon crime, saying: “I very much welcome this substantial fall in offensive weapon crimes.

“With 1000 more police on our streets, Scotland’s communities are safer than they have been for 41 years and crime has now fallen for eight years in a row.

“These statistics are testament to the hard work of our police officers and all of those people who support them in keeping our communities safe.

“The work of the Violence Reduction Unit and the No Knives, Better Lives campaign in particular have made a substantial contribution to this reduction in offensive weapons crimes. It is great news that less young people are now convicted of carrying a knife – it is imperative now that we continue to educate young people about the serious consequences of carrying knives to ensure this welcome trend continues.”


Police Scotland and partners hosted a No Knives, Better Lives event at Strathclyde Park last Wednesday to highlight the work going on in Lanarkshire to tackle knife crime.

Officers were joined by representatives from the Lanarkshire No Knives, Better Lives steering group who showcased the action taking place locally. The programme of events on the day included a series of presentations, activities and drama performances to highlight some of the potential consequences of carrying a knife.

Inspector Andy Thomson, from Safer Communities at Police Scotland’s Lanarkshire Division, said: “There is a perception by some young people that carrying a knife will protect them or make them look good, but it could easily cost them their own life if it is used against them.”

The latest crime figures for the local authority in 2014-2015 show there were a total of 37,337 crimes and offences with a 51.3 per cent clear up rate, which is when offenders are traced by police.


Crimes of dishonesty including housebreakings, vehicle theft, shoplifting and fraud saw the highest number of offences at 6,107.

Fireraisings and vandalisms also fared high with 3,120 recorded in the South Lanarkshire area.


There were 272 sexual crimes – rape, attempted rape and sexual assault – and 337 non-sexual crimes of violence categorised as murder, attempted murder, culpable homicide, death by dangerous driving,serious assault and robberies.

Other crimes committed in the area including bail offences, handling offensive weapons and drugs were recorded at 3,909.


Offences such as common assault, breach of the peace, racially aggravated conduct and drunken and disorderly conduct peaked at 11,553 and there were 11,834 motor vehicles offences including dangerous driving, driving under the influence and speeding.