Cases of handling offensive weapons across North Ayrshire have fallen dramatically since the SNP came to power in 2007.
In 2007/08, there were 25 cases of handling offensive weapons per 10,000 of the population in North Ayrshire. This had declined to 6 per 10,000 by 2016/17, a drop of 76% and even better than the fall of 69% across Scotland.
These figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart MP’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland” and are a further indication that SNP efforts to tackle issues such as knife crime are working.
Meanwhile, the latest crime statistics published in England on 19 July showed that knife crime south of the border is continuing to rise, with police recording 40,147 offences, an increase of 16% on the previous year. Scotland had 3,111 such offences, down from a shocking 10,110 the year before the SNP came to office.
In the past decade, police officer numbers in Scotland have risen 5.8% from 16,234 to 17,170 full-time equivalent (FTE) while officer numbers in England and Wales have dropped from 142,376 to 123,507, a 13.2% drop.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The decline in knife crime in Scotland is welcome news and proves that the SNP’s approach to knife crime is paying dividends for our communities across North Ayrshire.
“Our approach to justice and the hard work of our dedicated police officers and others in our communities have secured a huge drop in the number of weapons offences across North Ayrshire, improving public safely.
“Given this sharp drop in weapons offences - 76% since 2007, contrasting sharply with the trend in England and Wales - it is no wonder that the UK Tory Government is looking north for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.
“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007, putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are safer than for many years.”