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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12500: Adam Tomkins (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the discussions it has had with the Violence Reduction Unit and the Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools regarding the possession of offensive weapons among under-16s.

Answered by: John Swinney 15 November 2017

The Scottish Government remains resolute in our determination to tackle knife crime, with offences of possession of offensive weapons down 69% between 2006-07 and 2015-16, and we are continuing to work with schools and local authorities on anti-violence campaigns and curriculum programmes to reduce incidences further. We support the promotion of best practice, including what lessons we can learn from others as well as the interest from beyond Scotland in the pioneering preventative work of our National Violence Reduction Unit.

The Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviours in School (SAGRABIS) recommended that guidance on violence and weapons in schools was included in the recent Included Engaged and Involved Part 2 guidance. This was published in June 2017.

SAGRABIS and the Violence Reduction Unit discussed the recommendations made by the independent report looking into the Bailey Gwynne tragedy. Both groups concluded that giving teachers the powers to search pupils would fundamentally change the teacher-pupil relationship, putting teachers on the same footing as the Police.