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Caithness News Bulletins April 2006

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Police Emergency Services
Police forces across Scotland have united for a year-long anti-violence campaign.

Under the banner of Safer Scotland, forces have given their commitment to tackling violence on our streets.

The 12 month campaign will run from  Monday 3 April 2006.

The campaign is being co-ordinated by a small team of officers in the Violence Reduction Unit and is part of a two-strand approach to tackling violent behaviour in Scotland.

The Safer Scotland campaign forms the first element of the Violence Reduction Strategy - which aims to contain and manage the problem in the short term.

This first strand will comprise of several key elements, including a five week knife amnesty. The campaign will also include enforcement operations tackling violent behaviour and weapon carrying, it will also tackle the links between alcohol and violence.

The campaign kicks off today with a blitz on outstanding warrants. Forces will be encouraged to prioritise all warrants for violence from domestic abuse to attempted murder.

Chief Inspector Alex McGuire is co-ordinating the nationwide campaign, he explained: “The knife amnesty, which will run from May 24 to the end of June, is only one element of our year-long campaign. During the next 12 months we will be actively targeting known violent offenders and known knife carriers. Then when they are caught whether it’s engaging in violent behaviour or carrying a weapon, we will make sure they are brought before a court as quickly as possible.

“In short we will be going after the most violent individuals who carry knives and engage in violent behaviour. It’s important we also try and limit their access to knives and alcohol.”

Chief Inspector McGuire, who has been seconded from British Transport Police to the Safer Scotland campaign, added: “We want to send out a strong message to individuals who engage in violent behaviour and carry weapons, that it’s not safe to carry a knife - because if you do, you will get stopped, searched and arrested.”

The Safer Scotland campaign is backed by the Scottish Executive and ACPOS (the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland).

The Safer Scotland campaign will complement a longer term strategy being developed by the Violence Reduction Unit. Over the next few months, the VRU will be encouraging effective alliances between Scotland’s 32 community safety partnerships. The aim is to establish a Scottish-wide Violence Prevention Alliance Network to tackle violence and develop sustainable reductions in the medium and long term.