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Zero tolerance for knife crime

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, has announced a zero tolerance crackdown on knife carrying over the next six weeks in a pilot project targeting Scotland’s town and city centres. Anyone caught in these areas in possession of a knife will be arrested and prosecuted before a Sheriff and jury, resulting in a potential increase from a maximum prison term of one year to four years.

The initiative will operate on a pilot basis over the festive period for six weeks. The robust prosecution action is designed to deter anyone from carrying a knife and will support existing police and community crime prevention initiatives to deter and reduce violence in town and city centres.

In July this year the Lord Advocate announced a strengthening of the prosecution policy for those found in possession of a knife; on licensed premises; when local gang involvement is probable; on public transport or at a bus or train station.

The initiative was backed by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who said:

“Tackling knife crime is an absolute priority for this Government and we have made clear that Scotland’s prosecutors and the courts have my full backing in using the full force of the law to punish anyone who carries or uses a knife.”