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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 July 2006, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Knife detector scheme 'a success'
Metal detector in Largs rail station
None of the Largs rail passengers was carrying weapons
The introduction of mobile metal detectors at a rail station in Scotland has been hailed as a success.

British Transport Police said 240 people were scanned at Largs rail station in Ayrshire as part of Operation Shield to combat knife crime.

BTP Supt Ronnie Mellis said no-one was found to be carrying a knife or an offensive weapon.

He said the detectors, similar to those used in airports, would now be used at rail stations across Scotland.

The operation, which took place from 1700 BST on Friday until 2300 BST the following day, was designed to deter rail passengers from carrying knives.

Passengers were asked to walk through metal detectors before they boarded trains.

'Safe rail travel'

Supt Mellis said: "The successful Largs weekend was the first in what will now be a rolling programme of intelligence-led operations that will take place all over the country to reassure the travelling public that Scotland's railways remain safe and that they able to travel without the fear of becoming a victim of violent crime.

"We are grateful to our colleagues at Strathclyde Police and First ScotRail for their support in carrying out the operation."

One rail passenger at Largs said the check was "absolutely fine" and she believed more weapon checks should be carried out throughout the country.

However, another passenger was unhappy about being searched, and he said: "I'm here for a weekend just seeing my folks and I don't really want to come off the train to get searched."

Operation Shield, the BTP campaign to eradicate knife crime from the railways, was piloted in London in February.

It was then rolled out across the UK, with Largs being the first area in Scotland to use the detectors.


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