Sky News suggests Scotland Yard can learn from Scotland on reducing knife crime. Scottish media miss the story


Watching Sky News this morning, making sure I don’t even catch a glimpse of Jackie Bird, I saw a short piece on how London police have been learning from Glasgow police on how they might reduce knife crime especially fatal stabbings. There were 80 last year in London and none in Glasgow, none in Scotland even. I’ve reported on the much-changed Scottish situation recently, here:

Of 35 children and teenagers killed with knives in Britain in 2017, not one was in Scotland, yet in 2005, the UN called Scotland the most violent country in the developed world.

In 2005, Strathclyde Police set up a Violence Reduction Unit which used an holistic approach involving education, social work and other agencies to tackle the problem. Fatal stabbings have fallen dramatically as has violence generally in Scotland. Indeed, in a study of University cities, Scotland’s four had much lower levels of violence with injury than any of those in England, See:

Scotland’s university cities by far the safest places to send your children

However, London has seen the worst rise. According to Sky:

‘Last year saw the highest number of fatal stabbings in a decade in the capital, with 80 people killed. In response to last year’s 80 fatal stabbings in the capital – the highest number for almost a decade – the Metropolitan Police is increasing its use of stop-and-search tactics, but insists it will be more targeted at habitual knife carriers and applied in known knife hotspots. The force also has officers based full-time in youth offender institutions and others who visit schools regularly talking to pupils of all ages about the dangers of knives. It works, too, with former offenders who advise officers on gang culture and how to talk to gang members. A relatively new tactic is to have police officers stationed in all hospital emergency departments, encouraging medical staff to share information on evidence of knife injuries. It’s an holistic approach that has helped reduce knife crime dramatically in Glasgow, a city branded by the United Nations 12 years ago as the most violent in the developed world.’

In Scotland, there may have been other factors contributing to the changes and these are discussed in my earlier report. London also has marked differences with Glasgow in terms of size, ethnic mix and government policies with regard to poverty. Poverty, is likely to be a major factor and the difference between the harsh UK and caring Scottish governments’ approaches is considerable.

Finally, I can’t find any coverage of this other than on Sky. It reminds of the time I watched, only on Sky of course, Scottish police teaching New York police to hold their fire:

Scottish News Media Conceal Global Status of Police Scotland’s Methods

The story was not to be found on Scotland’s Unionist media for the obvious reason that they were busy demonising Police Scotland and the SNP for creating them at the time.

5 thoughts on “Sky News suggests Scotland Yard can learn from Scotland on reducing knife crime. Scottish media miss the story

  1. Grant Brown January 23, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    Scottish Media don’t miss these stories, they intentionally blank them in the hope that nobody sees them at all. They don’t want their captive audience to know that Scotland is respected around the world. With the exception of Westminster.


  2. Brian January 23, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    Hello Prof and thanks for this. I have been discussing, by phone, the relationship between the SNP and the media with my MSP’s staff this last 24 hours. I told them i was genuinely shocked to learn that the SNP joined in with unionist parties in passing on a “Christmas Box” of prepackaged news items for use over the festive period, in the print media when newspaper staff are on holiday.
    The absence of coverage you describe above – and the Oxfam report/distortion in the Herald a day or two ago – is clearly how the MSM repays the SNP.
    My MSP’s staff response was primarilly a shrug of the shoulders, “woe is me, what choice do we have”?
    Honestly, I am having to rethink my views of the SNP entirely.


    • johnrobertson834 January 23, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Only they have the infrastructure and the resources including people to fuel the Yes campaign? They won’t go for media lies but try to stay cool and look capable.


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