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Nearly 7,000 potential weapons seized from Scottish Parliament in the last two years

ByBernadette Hogg

Nov 1, 2016

New figures have revealed that more than 6,800 potential weapons have been seized from visitors to the Scottish Parliament since 2014, according to The Edinburgh Evening News.

The Edinburgh Evening News reported that over 6,000 knives, scissors, corkscrews and screwdrivers have been taken away from people during checks by security at Holyrood since 2014.

Knives have been the most prevalent item at 85 per cent of the total confiscated potential weapons.

5,832 knives, 556 screwdrivers and corkscrews, and 440 scissors were seized from visitors trying to enter the Scottish Parliament, according to radio station LBC.

Scotland was named the world assault capital by United Nations’ statistics in 2015, with almost 1,200 people per 100,000 falling prey to assault causing serious bodily harm in 2013.

The MSP for Kirkaldy, David Torrance, was subjected to one such assault by a member of the public in 2014. He told LBC, who are currently running a campaign to get knives off the streets, that he was surprised by the high figures, yet did not feel unsafe at Holyrood.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament stated: “For the safety of all, the parliament does not allow visitors to carry certain sharp objects such as penknives or scissors while they are in the building, even if it is perfectly legal to do so in public.” They claimed they work on a safety-first basis, similar to airports in the UK, according to The Edinburgh Evening News.

David Torrance focused on the retaining of these potential weapons making people in the parliament building feel safer when speaking to LBC.

He said: “It is surprising that it is so high and for individuals to forget that they’ve got a penknife or a pair of scissors or something like that on them, I would think would be quite few, but when you look at the stats, it’s nearly 7,000 potential weapons that have been seized and removed from people and by security. That’s extremely high.

“When you see the measures that have been put in place in the Scottish Parliament, you know it has cost a lot of money, but you do feel safe in the building.

“Visitors feel safe in the building. It’s all about being open and friendly and being able to enjoy the atmosphere in Parliament, even if you’re a visitor coming to have a tour around it. You can see that security has been put in place and they take it really seriously”, Torrance elaborated.

“The security in the Parliament is absolutely fantastic. I’ve even had to take a visitor through by the front entrance, rather than using my pass. They’re great. Everything is checked, everybody is checked, so they’re doing a great job.”

He went onto state: “The Parliament has an important connection with the people of Scotland and it’s vital we keep that.

“There’s no point in being behind closed doors like Westminster, and that’s the great advantage of the Scottish Parliament.”

Image: Tom Parnell

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