Renfrewshire has become the latest council area in Scotland to report on the benefits of the “No Knives Better Lives” campaign. Since the launch of the initiative in 2010, Renfrewshire has recorded a 43% drop in offensive weapons crime, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill revealed yesterday, during his visit to the Street Stuff programme at St Mirren Park.
In addition to fewer crimes being recorded of carrying an offensive weapon, Renfrewshire can also boast a 41% plunge in violent crime between 2009/2010 and 2012/2013.
The “No Knives Better Lives” campaign began in 2010, aiming to educate and inform the younger generation about the hazards and consequences of carrying knives. It has reached 11 areas in Scotland and tackles such issues through various activities in schools and local communities. MacAskill credited the campaign with playing a key part in the reduction of offensive weapons crime in Renfrewshire, which has now reached its lowest recorded level of such crimes in 27 years. The highly successful campaign reflects the government’s firm belief that violence is best tackled through enforcement, education and prevention. All areas that have implemented the programme have made impressive progress in reducing offensive weapons crime statistics. In the whole of Scotland, youth crime rates have shrunk by more than 50% since 2008/2009.
MacAskill went on to note there were no circumstances that could excuse carrying a knife and the government remained committed to driving this message home. One positive step in that direction would be increasing the maximum penalty for knife possession, with proposals in the Criminal Justice Bill envisioning five instead of four years, MacAskill added.