A campaign to tackle knife crime in the north of the city will be launched by the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership today.
Throughout the summer, officers from Lothian and Borders Police and the City of Edinburgh Council will work with young people through various youth work projects, to tackle the problem of knife crime.
Young people will learn about the dangers of carrying a knife and the devastating personal consequences it can have on their future, as well as on their family and friends. The aim is to prevent them being influenced by older teenagers and peers into carrying knives in the first place.
The north of the city is being targeted as recent research suggests that the number of incidents involving knives in that area make up almost a third (228) of incidents in the whole of the city.
And in nearly half of all incidents, it was found that the victim knew the offender. The study also points out that alcohol and drug misuse are major contributory factors in knife related crimes.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “We are working in partnership with the council, police, schools and young people in Edinburgh to create very local No Knives Better Lives campaign that is tailored to the community and supporting the good work they are already doing.
“Far too many lives are lost and people injured though mindless acts of violence – often because of the knife culture that blights some communities. That is why we are working to change the culture around violence in Scotland.”
Councillor Paul Edie, Community Safety Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is an important project for the city as it sends out a simple, yet hard-hitting message, that this type of crime is not acceptable within our society.
“It is also important to reassure the wider community that the partnership is doing everything it can to educate these young people, so that knife crime can be reduced and that these crimes can become a problem of the past.
“I am sure this new and exciting initiative will teach young people, that carrying a knife can have a devastating affect on their future.”
Superintendent David Carradice from Lothian and Borders Police, said: “Tackling knife crime is a priority for Lothian and Borders Police. The recent reduction in violent crime, particularly involving a knife or other weapons, is testament to our ongoing proactive engagement with communities.
“Using a knife, or even carrying one, is extremely dangerous, and has serious consequences for everyone involved
“The most effective way of delivering this message is through education, and events like this will undoubtedly prove useful for engaging with the younger members of our community. I am keen to talk to the youngsters taking part today to hear their thoughts on knives and the associated dangers.”
Gavin Crosbie, Youth Work Strategy Manager for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Over the summer, young people have the opportunity to be involved in fun activities, provided by the Council and partner agencies. The No Knives Better Lives resources enable youth workers to talk about the serious dangers that come from carrying a knife, even if you don’t intend to use it or were carrying it for somebody else.”
Notes to editors
1. No Knives Better Lives is a Scottish Government campaign to make young people aware of the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife will be rolled out to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Clackmannanshire after a successful pilot in Inverclyde.
2.The campaign is aimed at young teenage boys age 12 to 14 years.
3. The north neighbourhood areas of the city include: Inverleith, Leith, Leith Walk, and Forth Neighbourhood Partnerships.
4. The Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership is responsible for co-ordinting community safety issues across the city.