MSP welcomes crime figures

MSP Gil Paterson
MSP Gil Paterson

Residents in East Dunbartonshire are able to sleep a little easier as new figures released by Police Scotland show weapon crimes are down.

Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the new official statistics which show that recorded crimes of handling an offensive weapon, including knife crimes, have fallen by 78 per cent in East Dunbartonshire since 2006-07, going from 119 offences to 26.

This has contributed to a fall in overall recorded crime levels throughout Scotland to a 41-year low and a 67 per cent drop in offensive weapon crimes. 

Since 2007 an additional 1,000 police officers have been delivered by the Scottish Government and, as well as enforcing legislation, the No Knives, Better Lives campaign is educating young people about the risks and consequences of carrying a knife.

Mr Paterson said: “I very much welcome this substantial fall in offensive weapon crimes, which was the scourge of Scotland for too long. The streets of Bearsden and Milngavie are undoubtedly safer now.

“With 1,000 more police on our streets, Scotland’s communities are safer than they have been for 41 years and crime has now fallen for eight years in a row.   

“These strong statistics are testament to the hard-work of our police officers and all of those people who support them in keeping our communities safe. The work of the Violence Reduction Unit and the No Knives, Better Lives campaign in particular have made a substantial contribution to this reduction.

“Less young people are now convicted of carrying a knife – it is important that we continue to educate young people about the serious consequences of carrying knives to ensure this welcome trend continues.”

Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC who sent a warning message to those in our communities who might offend by carrying a weapon in a public place or on domestic premises.

He said: “Anyone caught by police officers will feel the full force of the law at court, whether they have used the weapon or not. Leave it at home. The Crown Office will continue to promote a zero tolerance knife crime prosecution policy.”