NKBLs targets young people aged 11-18 years who are on the cusp of picking up a knife. This prevention programme specifically addresses the issue of knife carrying but is informed by, and works alongside, wider youth diversionary interventions and activities that aim to prevent anti-social behaviour and offending. The programme raises awareness of the potentially devastating risks and consequences associated with carrying a knife and encourages young people to make positive life choices.
While the NKBLs programme has been running Scotland has become a safer place to live. Police Recorded Crime Statistics show that recorded crimes of handling an offensive weapon are currently the lowest in 31 years; and that the number of young people under 19 years of age convicted of handling an offensive weapon fell from 812 in 2006/07 to 165 in 2013-14.
Scottish Government commissioned this “light touch” report to look at the current reach and impact of the NKBL programme. This is not a detailed evaluation of the approach to tackle knife crime in Scotland. However, the findings from this evaluation will be used as a starting point for a discussion with our partners around the future of knife crime reduction policy in Scotland.