News In Focus
Over 2,000 weapons seized at court
Over 2,000 knives and other weapons were seized at court buildings in Scotland last year by the Scottish Court Service, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told the Scottish Parliament yesterday.
Answering a question by Labour MSP Andy Kerr, Mr MacAskill said the number of weapons confiscated had risen from 311 in 2007 to 1,518 in 2008, 1,937 in 2009 and 2,030 in 2010. He attributed this to improved security, improved recording and reporting, and greater awareness among court staff.
The most prevalent items found were lock knives, penknives, kitchen knives and Stanley knives, along with scissors, loose blades for Stanley knives, open razors, razor blades and knitting needles.
The Justice Secretary added that the discovery by staff of any weapon or potential weapon was immediately reported to the police.
Mr Kerr said the figures showed a "complete lack of respect" for the Government's approach to the justice system. Mr MacAskill responded that the problem was not a new one.