A NEW initiative to curb knife crime is set to be launched in Glasgow after new figures revealed the citys offence numbers are the highest in Scotland.

Justice Secretary and Pollok MSP Humza Yousaf will unveil Nae Danger, a comic book-style leaflet outlining how various scenarios involving knives could be handled.

The project will be announced at the No Knives Better Lives (NKBL) National Youth Conference in Glasgow, with the pamphlet intended to be a more realistic solution in communities where reporting friends is seen as "unacceptable".

It is hoped the project will help young people safely intervene when they suspect someone they know is carrying a knife.

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The SNP politician said: "Our approach to knife crime, focusing on prevention, is recognised across the UK and internationally and in the last ten years we have seen knife carrying across Scotland fall dramatically. In that time we have invested over £4 million in No Knives Better Lives (NKBL).

“The ‘Nae Danger’ resource is an excellent example of how young people can safely look after each other by changing behaviours within their own communities.

“There is still much to do and we will continue to work with NKBL and other partners to ensure the safety of our communities.”

Nae Danger has been put together by the team at NKBL and will tackle issues such as gang culture and violent incidents.

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In one of the scenarios featured, entitled About the Bevvy, youngsters are seen leaving a party when an alcohol-fuelled argument starts.

In another, aimed at tackling gang culture in Scotland's cities, the scenario suggests friends directly intervene before more serious crimes are committed.

Vicki Ridley, senior development officer of NKBL at YouthLink Scotland, said: "Young people were telling us that they wouldn't automatically reach for reporting if they knew or suspected a friend was carrying a knife.

"When they told us that they would rather talk to their friend about the reasons why they were knife carrying and try to dissuade them, it made us sit up and take notice.

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"This resource acknowledges the power of prevention that young people already possess and taps into natural instincts such as being a good friend, seeking help from responsible peers and looking out for one another."

On Tuesday, crime statistics showed Glasgow had the highest single-year crime rate with 717 reports per 10,000 residents, ahead of Edinburgh with 604 and Dundee with 595.

Figures published by the Scottish Government show crimes in Scotland have increased by 1 per cent between 2017-18 and 2018-19. However, the number has dropped by 27 per cent since 2009-10.

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Non-sexual violent crimes had the biggest single-year jump, with the number of reports rising by 10 cent, from 7,251 to 8,008 - but this was down 29 per cent on 2009-10.

Specific concerns have been raised about sexual crimes, with an 8 per cent rise in the number of reports to the highest on record.

Statistics show a jump of 1,060 reports of sexual crimes between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

DCI Lesley Boal said: "We will continue to strive to proactively identify victims of rape and sexual crime whilst ensuring all investigations are carried out consistently and to a high standard, regardless of where or when the crime occurred."