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Local MSP Christina McKelvie praised community and emergency services this week as latest figures reveal that cases of handling offensive weapons across South Lanarkshire have fallen over 71% since 2007.

In 2007/08, there was 17 cases of handling offensive weapons per 10,000 of the population in South Lanarkshire– which has fallen sharply to 5 by 2016/17 - a drop of 71%.

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland” – and are a further indication that SNP efforts to tackle issues such as knife crime have worked.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie said:

“I strongly welcome this progressive news, showing that the SNPs comprehensive approach to violent crime and weapons offences is working.

“I want to place on record my thanks to Police Scotland and all other emergency services within our community. Day in and day out, they continue to do a tremendous job in keeping my constituents safe and secure.

“Since 2007, South Lanarkshire has seen an incredible 71% decrease in cases of handling offensive weapons.

“Whether it be working with the amazing Street Project, or my work with Police Scotland and others to reduce antisocial behaviour in Hamilton, I will always ensure that the safety and security of my constituents is my top priority.

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”