Crackdown on violence in public areas

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Police across Scotland are gearing up for a nationwide crackdown on violence in public areas.

The two month initiative will focus on weapons and alcohol, tackling the problems through a range of activities including test purchasing operations, stop searches and visits to licensed premises….


Police across Scotland are gearing up for a nationwide crackdown on violence in public areas.

The two month initiative will focus on weapons and alcohol, tackling the problems through a range of activities including test purchasing operations, stop searches and visits to licensed premises.

The crackdown is part of the latest phase in the Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU) Anti-Violence Campaign, co-ordinated by the VRU on behalf of ACPOS and the Scottish Government.

As part of plans for the campaign, police across Scotland will get a hi-tech helping hand in the form of special metal detecting poles. Sourced by the VRU, the poles will be deployed by officers in Lothian and Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Northern and Grampian force areas. Funded by £25,650 from the Scottish Government, the purchase of the detectors follows on from the £90,000 invested by the Government in similar equipment in October last year. These detectors are now in use by forces throughout Scotland.

Chief Inspector Graham Goulden, Anti-Violence Campaign Co-ordinator for the Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“Violence in public areas is a big issue – we want the people of Scotland to be free to enjoy everything our country has to offer without fear of violence or anti-social behaviour.

“The metal detecting poles are a key part of our plan to tackle this kind of violence – they have proved invaluable in driving down levels of knife crime in the night time economy. Not only can they be used to stop those carrying weapons, they also act as a clear message to those thinking of carrying them that such behaviour is not acceptable. They also offer reassurance to the general public that they are safe on a night out – the police take this issue very seriously and will do everything we can to tackle it.”

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“We have a booze and blades culture in Scotland that must be tackled. I am delighted to support the ACPOS anti-violence campaign that will help do just that.

“Tough police action has a crucial role to play in making our communities safer. By focusing on the misuse of alcohol the ACPOS campaign is tackling one of the major causes of violence. To help the police in their anti-violence drive I am also pleased to announced an additional four new metal detectors that will help in the crackdown on weapon carrying.

“These searches are necessary to prevent knife crime happening as well as severely punishing those who carry weapons. We are now doing more than ever to tackle knife crime with tougher sentences and tough police action to take weapons off our streets.”

Lothian and Borders Police Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingston said:

“Lothian and Borders Police are committed to building safer communities and reducing the number of victims of violent crime.

“A significant contributor in violent crime, particularly at the weekend or during public holidays is alcohol and we must continue to work closely with our partners to address this issue.

“The use of ferroguard poles is one of many tools we use to deter the minority of people who might want to carry weapon and let them know that if they do, they run the real risk of being searched and brought to court. It also provides a highly visible reassurance to the wider law abiding community.

“By working with partners in the licensed trade, we are promoting public safety and responsible behaviour throughout the Lothian and Borders area.”