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Monday, July 5, 1999 Published at 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK


Police 'sadness' over weapons haul

John Orr: "Saddened" by the discoveries

Strathclyde's chief constable says he is saddened by the discovery of potentially lethal weapons on young boys during a crime crackdown.

John Orr said he was also worried about the number of underage drinkers detained during the first three days of the operation, which is focusing on assaults, disorder and weapons.

The force, which launched the latest phase of its high-profile Spotlight Initiative on 1 July, said 2,700 people had been searched and 36 arrested so far.

[ image: Officers targeted illegal drinking]
Officers targeted illegal drinking
Another 39 have been detained following the issuing of warrants in connection with violent crime.

But most disturbing, said Mr Orr, was the number of young people who are alleged to have committed offences.

They included a 13-year-old boy from the south side of Glasgow who is accused of having a three-inch lock knife.

Police said he was the youngest person detained during the latest phase of the initiative.

Other teenagers stopped in the south of the city included:

  • A 14-year-old boy accused of having a hatchet

  • A 14-year-old boy with a lock knife

  • A 16-year-old with a bayonet

  • A 16-year-old alleged to have had an eight-inch knife.

Strathclyde Police said they recovered 38 offensive weapons including 20 knives. Other weapons seized included axes, hammers, baseball bats and pick axe handles.

The force said it was also carrying out a purge on the illegal consumption of alcohol.

So far, a total of 148 people have been charged with alcohol related offences, including 28 underage drinkers. A number of those stopped were 15-year-old boys and girls.

Offensive weapons

Mr Orr said: "What saddens me is the number of young people who are involved in underage drinking and those who appear to think that it is cool to carry knives and other offensive weapons.

"Both are serious illegal mistakes and we will not tolerate such actions."

"I make this appeal to parents - you have the tremendous responsibility of ensuring that you know where your children are, what they are doing and how they are behaving," he added.

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