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18 July 2005

STEVENSON: POLICE MUST BE GIVEN POWERS TO TACKLE KNIFE CRIME PANDEMIC

SNP Depute Shadow Justice Minister, Stewart Stevenson MSP, today (Monday) called for Scottish police to be given additional resources to tackle the “scourge” of knife crime.

Mr Stevenson made the call following the release of new figures from Strathclyde Police, which showed that, since January, there had been 13 murders, 145 attempted murders and 1100 serious assaults in the area.

Mr Stevenson said:

“These are shocking figures which graphically show that Scotland is indeed in the grip of a knife pandemic.

“Police in Strathclyde and throughout Scotland must be given the resources and powers they need to tackle this growing problem. Anyone found carrying a knife should face the full force of the law.

“However, we must also do more to combat the underlying culture of acceptance towards knives in Scotland and the factors that contribute to cases of knife-related crime.

“The Executive must tackle the underlying causes of these crimes; drinks, drugs and deprivation.

“It must also be recognised that knives are not a means of protection against possible assault. They are lethal weapons and we must do all that we can to ensure everyone in Scotland views them as such.”
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