Reassurance provided in relation to weapon incidents in Aberdeenshire and Moray schools

Reassurance provided to the community in relation to school weapon incidents in Aberdeenshire and Moray

Leading education figures from local authorities across the north east of Scotland are reassuring parents that work is taking place to keep young people and staff safe in light of recent incidents involving weapons in schools.

Directors of Education at Moray and Aberdeenshire Council have been working in partnership with Police Scotland and have written to all parents to highlight their commitment to work collectively to reduce incidents.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services Maria Walker said: “Our aim is to work with partners and parents to ensure we all keep our young people, as well as our staff, as safe as possible.

“It is in all of our interests to keep people safe from harm and education authorities will continue to review current practices and procedures to ensure our combined actions help to reduce incidents.

“Extensive work has taken place across the area to roll out anti-bullying measures and we also work closely with Police Scotland on campaigns to tackle anti-social behaviour and mitigate offensive actions.

“We have around 38,000 pupils in Aberdeenshire and the majority of our pupils are well-behaved.  These incidents are rare and please be assured that when they do occur, action is taken to deal with them swiftly and appropriately.”

Moray Council’s Corporate Director of Education and Social Care Laurence Findlay said: “In Moray we have been pro-active in developing anti-bullying actions, working with organisations such as Respect Me, and we continue to work on measures to prevent, identify and deal with bullying behaviour in schools.

“We must work together to keep young people and staff safe from harm.”

Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson, the Divisional Commander for Aberdeenshire and Moray, said: “I can confirm we have very recently been called to six incidents within secondary schools in Turriff, Alford, Inverurie, Elgin, Buckie and Keith where knives have been recovered and seven secondary school pupils have been reported. 

“Thankfully no one has been injured and all incidents were brought to our attention by school staff. 

“We have very positive relationships with all schools in our area and will continue to work with them and our partners to ensure we promote a safe learning environment and raise awareness of the dangers of such behaviour.

“Let me make it absolutely clear carrying a knife or any other potential weapon into a school is against the law and anyone caught doing this will face serious consequences.  The safety and well-being of all in our communities is absolutely paramount. 

“Anyone with any information regarding instances of this kind should contact the school in the first instance or in an emergency the police.”

All schools have comprehensive policies to ensure young people or parents can talk to staff about any issues which may be of concern and Police Scotland can also provide support.