MacAskill determined to reduce knife crime

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill joined around 100 young people at a summit to discuss knife crime.

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The event in Glasgow examined how the problem has been addressed in local communities, as well as considering how young people are perceived by others.

Teenager Jordan McCafferty, from Hillhouse in Hamilton, works with youth groups to educate others about the dangers of knife crime.

The 19-year-old, a member of South Lanarkshire Youth Council, said: "We hear too many stories of young people being the cause of knife crime, but the reality is the majority of us are actively involved in just the opposite kind of behaviour and are committed to making a change for the better.We make a huge contribution to our communities and it's time we were valued and recognised."

Mr MacAskill told the conference how the Scottish Government's 'No Knives Better Lives' campaign has helped reduce knife crime.

The campaign is said to have contributed to a 20 per cent reduction in the number of crimes of handling an offensive weapon since 2009, the year it was launched.

"Knife crime has been a blight on our communities for too long. This Government is working tirelessly to tackle this and through tough enforcement and education, we are getting the message through," Mr MacAskill said.

"Our approach is making progress. Recorded crime is down to its lowest level in 37 years, backed by over 1,000 extra police on the streets.

"The number of people caught carrying offensive weapons is down to its lowest level in 10 years.

"There are no easy solutions and we acknowledge more always needs to be done.

"There will be absolutely no let-up in our efforts."

Local government

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