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Home » » Mobiles targeted in knives campaign

Mobiles targeted in knives campaign

New technology is to be used in the fight against knife crime, with messages to be sent directly to youngsters' mobile phones.

The initiative, announced by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, is the latest phase of the No Knives, Better Lives campaign. It has already led to a 35% reduction in knife-carrying in the Inverclyde area.

Inverclyde will also be the first part of Scotland where bluetooth technology will be used to transmit special messages to young people's mobile phones.

The transmitter can be targeted at areas where youngsters gather and will send the message 'Choose Life Not a Knife' to phones that have bluetooth switched on. If successful, the scheme, which does not require any new funding, could be rolled out to other parts of Scotland.

Mr MacAskill said it could potentially reach a "huge audience".

He said: "We've got to continue to look at new ways of getting the message across to young people about the dangers of carrying a knife and this new mobile phone initiative gives us the opportunity to do just that.

"You'd be hard pushed to find a young person who doesn't own a mobile phone and that is a huge audience we can potentially reach through these tactics."

Mr MacAskill said previous efforts to tackle the problem of knife crime had been successful, stating: "The combination of tough enforcement on the streets, backed by education through the No Knives, Better Lives campaign, is having a real impact on knife crime and the figures we are seeing show a downward trajectory across the country."

Inverclyde area commander, Chief Inspector Graeme MacDairmid, said the No Knives, Better Lives campaign had played an integral part in the fight against knife crime.

He added: "Running in tandem with this successful education programme, my officers are focusing on targeting both known knife carriers and hot spot areas where knife crime is prevalent. Never before have police officers in Inverclyde carried out so many searches for weapons, yet at the same time found so few."

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