Our police officers do exemplary work to keep our communities safe. That often means putting themselves in danger. For that, we all must recognise the great efforts they take to tackle crime and keep us safe.
Recent figures are promising. Knife crime in Lanarkshire, for example, has decreased since 2014. As of 2016, violent crime across Scotland is at a 41 year low. But there is still a long way to go. We cannot be complacent.
The SNP has made it clear that knife crime is unacceptable through education and custodial sentencing. During the course of the previous Scottish Parliament, the SNP Government raised the maximum punishment for carrying a knife from four years to five. The Scottish Government also launched the No Knives, Better Lives programme to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
Likewise, assaults on our police officers are also unacceptable. Police officers are naturally put in dangerous situations, but that is no excuse for anyone attacking these individuals when carrying out their duties. Thankfully, they are provided with the equipment and training needed to keep themselves safe.
I have always held our police force in high esteem. However, following last week’s events in London, I have gained an even greater respect for the men and women who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe