No knives roll out welcomed by local MSPs

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SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has today welcomed the news that the No Knives, Better Lives campaign is to be rolled out to South Lanarkshire as well as five other areas across Glasgow, Central Scotland and Lothians with £500,000 of additional funding.

The pilot of the campaign held in Inverclyde has been a success with knife carrying down by a third.

No Knives Better Lives is to be extended to South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, South-East Glasgow, West Edinburgh, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire

Ms McKelvie who represents Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, urged South Lanarkshire Council and the Government to bring the scheme to the area following the murder of Raemonn Gormley in Blantyre.

Commenting today Ms McKelvie said:

“We must all work together to tackle the problem of knife crime in our communities.

“People in South Lanarkshire and elsewhere, by coming together in solidarity with the families of knife crime victims, have made it clear that they are sick of the consequences of knife violence and want to see knives off their streets.

“No Knives, Better Lives will be welcomed because it is designed to do stop the knives getting on the streets in the first place. It is preventative action, which tackles the problem at the root by educating
young people. Investment in knife education now will mean fewer victims in the future.

“No Knives Better Lives has made a real difference in reducing the numbers of young people carrying knives in parts of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.  This is a scheme that has been shown to work and one we must support.

“I met with the Justice Secretary last year, along with local campaigners against knife crime, and asked for No Knives, Better Lives to be extended to South Lanarkshire. I’m very pleased that he has responded so positively and that the area will now benefit from this very important work.

“Communities in South Lanarkshire have felt the pain of senseless knife crime.  It is my hope that with this programme we will now be able to divert our young people from carrying knives and make our communities safe again.”

SNP Justice Committee member and MSP for Edinburgh Western Colin Keir, whose constituency will also benefit from the roll-out said:

“No Knives Better Lives has cut knife crime by nearly 40% in Inverclyde and by 30% in Renfrewshire.

“The SNP is committed to tackling knife crime and alongside No Knives Better Lives the Crown Office has also announced that it will apply longer sentences to people using knives in crime hotspots and public places to deter even more people from carrying knives.”