The number of incidents of knife possession on Scotland’s streets fell dramatically last year with figures showing knife possession fell by 22% across Scotland and by between 16% and 40% across all police areas.

Under the previous Labour administration knife crime increased by 37% between 2000 and 2007. Under the SNP it has fallen by 18% since 2007 and 22% over the last year to the lowest level in nine years.

The new figures uncovered by SNP MSP Stuart McMillan show knife possession is now lower in every part of Scotland than it was when the SNP came to power as communities across the country become safer.

West of Scotland MSP Stuart McMillan said:

“This drop in the number of people carrying knives, despite more stop and searches by police, shows we are beginning to turn a corner on knife crime.

“After seven years of watching knife crime climb steadily uner the previous administration I know many people have serious concerns but this year we have seen a real and dramatic decrease in the numbers of people carrying knives.

“The SNP made tackling knife crime a priority and by working with the police and communities we are ensuring young people know that using a knife will see them sent to jail and their life and opportunities put on hold.

“Despite Labour’s rhetoric knife crime rose steadily when they were in charge and they have not come up with a workable solution now.  Meanwhile the SNP’s efforts with police and communities, education our young people and putting more police on the streets to search for knives are keeping knife crime down.

“No one should ever be complacent about tackling knife crime and we must all – police, communities and government work together to get knives off Scotland’s streets for good.”