Shock toll of crimes committed with knives
Police warning to thugs who go armed
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.”
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