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BBC Scotland's Sandy Murray reports
"The Scottish Executive promises that tackling violent crime will be its top priority"
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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
War declared on violent crime
Knives
There was a significant rise in violent crime last year
Police forces and ministers have teamed up to fight violent crime in Scotland.

The "nationwide offensive", which was launched at Scotland's National Stadium at Hampden, comes after statistics recorded a significant rise in violent crime last year.

The chiefs of Scotland's eight police forces, the British Transport Police and Scottish Executive ministers say the aims of the three-month campaign are to stop violence and hooliganism and "challenge the inflated perception of the level of violent crime".

Angus MacKay
Angus MacKay: "The campaign can make a real difference"
In what will be the first Scotland-wide anti-crime campaign, forces will target licensed premises where one in five violent incidents occur.

They will also seek to reduce the number of violent attacks, with a particular emphasis on protecting businesses, target public disorder and reduce the rates of murder, attempted murder, serious assault and weapon carrying.

Part of the strategy will include National Action Days, when the forces will perform joint operations and a national advertising campaign.

Deputy Justice Minister, Angus MacKay, said: "Police campaigns targeted on specific crimes do work.

"The commitment of all forces to a series of targeted National Action Days can therefore make a real difference.

'Not acceptable'

"However, we need public backing across Scotland to make it work. That's why we are funding a national anti-violence advertising campaign to hammer home the message that violent crime is unacceptable."

He added that the camapign would also have an impact on the fear of violent crime.

That message was backed by Strathclyde Police Chief Constable, John Orr, who was confident that the campaign would make the public feel safer - and reduce the number of offences.

He said: "As we approach the year 2001, the whole of society - every man, woman and young person - must adopt an unambiguous attitude to violence.

"Carrying a weapon is not acceptable. Using a weapon is not acceptable.

"Having had too much to drink is not an excuse.

"And as part of our Scottish community, turning a blind eye is not an option."

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See also:

25 Aug 00 | Scotland
Concern over shop attacks
07 Jun 00 | Scotland
Sharp rise in knife crime
08 Jun 00 | Scotland
Murders up as overall crime falls
Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


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