Glasgow & West Scotland

Knife campaign launched in North and South Lanarkshire

knives
Image caption The campaign has had success in Inverlcyde and Renfrewshire

A campaign which is said to have helped reduce knife carrying by up to a third in parts of Scotland is being launched in North and South Lanarkshire.

The No Knives Better Lives initiative uses work in schools and youth schemes, diversionary activities and advertising to discourage knife carrying.

The Scottish government claimed the scheme reduced knife carrying by 35% in Inverclyde and by 29% in Renfrewshire.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill launched the campaign in Hamilton.

He 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.

'Tough enforcement'

"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.

"We know that the key to tackling knife crime is a combination of tough enforcement on the streets, backed by early intervention and education."

Chief Inspector David Walker, of Strathclyde Police, added: "The No Knives Better Lives campaign is a welcome addition to the existing work in Lanarkshire aimed at tackling violent crime.

"We are confident that the initiative will go a long way to helping young people make the right choices when it comes to knife crime and choosing not to carry a knife."

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