Shock toll of crimes com­mit­ted with knives

Po­lice warn­ing to thugs who go armed

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

New fig­ures have revealed a crime was com­mit­ted with a knife ev­ery five days in Ruther­glen or Cam­bus­lang in the past three years.

The scale of knife cul­ture in the towns has been un­cov­ered with al­most 250 crimes in­volv­ing blades com­mit­ted since 2014.

Official fig­ures ob­tained by the Ruther­glen Re­former through a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest showed there were 240 po­lice in­ci­dents in­volv­ing knives or blades in all four coun­cil wards be­tween 2014 and the end of last year.

The fig­ures do not in­clude crimes where pos­ses­sion of a weapon is the ac­tual of­fence.

In Ruther­glen there has been 134 crimes in­volv­ing knives and 106 in

Cam­bus­lang in the past three years.

How­ever, 2016 saw the low­est num­ber of in­ci­dents, with 73 crimes com­mit­ted in the two towns – 34 of them in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North.

In the last year, there has been 46 crimes com­mit­ted by mem­bers of the pub­lic in Ruther­glen.

Cam­bus­lang on the other hand had fewer in­ci­dents, 17 in to­tal.

Ruther­glen MSP Clare Haughey was en­cour­aged to see a re­duc­tion in the fig­ures.

She said: “I wel­come the trend show­ing a year on year de­cline in knife crime in the area, al­though one of­fence in­volv­ing knives or of­fen­sive weapons is one too many.

“The Scot­tish Govern­ment has con­sis­tently said that the best way to tackle vi­o­lence is through ed­u­ca­tion and pre­ven­tion, in­vest­ing in suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives such as No Knives, Bet­ter Lives.

“It is ex­tremely en­cour­ag­ing to see the level of en­gage­ment al­ready tak­ing place in our schools and com­mu­ni­ties around the is­sue of knife crime. We know that knife crime has a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact not only on in­di­vid­u­als but fam­ily, friends and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, which is why our pre­ven­ta­tive ap­proach aimed at ed­u­cat­ing young peo­ple about the po­ten­tial con­se­quences of car­ry­ing a knife is so im­por­tant.”

Of­fences with bladed weapons in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang make up 37 per cent of knife crimes com­mit­ted through­out the whole of South La­nark­shire.

Of 1,800 in­ci­dents recorded in the last three years within La­nark­shire 654 of them in South La­nark­shire.

Within the same time pe­riod 112 were com­mit­ted in East Kil­bride, de­spite a much higher pop­u­la­tion than Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, while 194 were recorded in Hamil­ton.

In­spec­tor Jim Gille­spie, of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang com­mu­nity polic­ing team, said: “Ad­dress­ing vi­o­lent crime is a pri­or­ity for Po­lice Scot­land and we will tar­get those who choose to arm them­selves with a knife or any other weapon.

“In­tel­li­gence led stop and search re­mains a highly ef­fec­tive method to tar­get the right peo­ple in the right places at the right time and lo­cal of­fi­cers will con­tinue to adopt this and a num­ber of other tac­tics to fo­cus on those who per­sist in car­ry­ing weapons. We also carry out a num­ber of pre­ven­tive ini­tia­tives in con­junc­tion with our part­ners, in­clud­ing the de­liv­ery of in­puts at our lo­cal schools and com­mu­nity groups to high­light the dan­gers as­so­ci­ated with weapon car­ry­ing.

“I would en­cour­age the lo­cal com­mu­nity to con­tact us with in­for­ma­tion about any­one who may be car­ry­ing a weapon, ei­ther di­rectly or anony­mously via Crimestop­pers.”

It’s im­por­tanrt to get things up and run­ning as quickly as pos­si­ble

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