Youths speak out on knives

TEENAGERS are being asked to help shape future policy on knife crime.

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Dozens of young people from across Scotland will attend a national summit in Glasgow as part of the Scottish Government's anti-knife crime initiative, No Knives, Better Lives.

The campaign, launched in 2009, has included an intensive programme of workshops in schools, with talks from ex-offenders and lessons from the NHS staff who treat knife casualties.

Next month's summit will give young people the chance to reflect on how knife crime has been tackled in their local communities.

There will be a series of workshops aimed at encouraging young people to think about the ways in which they would like to shape the initiative in the future.

Figures revealed last year by the Evening Times show the number of under-16s caught carrying a knife in Strathclyde has fallen by 75% over the past six years.

In Glasgow, assaults involving a knife have fallen by one-third since 2006 and there has been a 41% drop in the number of people of all ages found with a knife.

Experts say diversionary activities, such as junior football leagues, organised by the police, have helped channel youthful aggression into positive outlets.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny McAskill will also attend the event, which takes place at Glasgow Science Centre on February 2.

caroline.wilson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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