Criminal Defence Lawyers Edinburgh

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Drop in offensive weapon crimes

The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC has welcomed the drop in crimes of handling an offensive weapon reported in the statistical bulletin published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The publication presents statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the eight Scottish police forces in 2011-12.

The figures show that crimes of handling an offensive weapon (which includes possession of an offensive weapon, restriction of offensive weapon and having in a public place an article with a blade or point) have decreased by 10% since 2010-11. This is a 44% decrease since 2006-07.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service implemented a strengthened knife crime policy on 22nd July 2011. The overall aim of the policy is to reduce offending and re-offending and to provide an effective deterrent.

The knife crime policy states: Anyone found in possession of a knife: on licensed premises; when local gang involvement is probable; at a ‘hot spot’ for violence; and on public transport or at a bus or train station, are now prosecuted on petition and their guilt decided by a Sheriff and jury rather than by summary complaint.

This allows a greater sentencing power for the Sheriff and increases the maximum prison term from one to four years. There is a presumption in favour of prosecution on indictment where the accused has previously been convicted of a relevant offence or has a previous conviction for a violent offence involving the use of a knife. And there is also a presumption in favour of opposing bail when the knife is presented or brandished if the case falls into any of these categories.

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Sunday, 25 October 2020

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