KIDS as young as nine have been caught by cops with an offensive or bladed weapon in the city of Glasgow.

The Evening Times can exclusively reveal that three boys aged nine offended by having such weapons in their possession.

We obtained the figures through a Freedom of Information act request to Police Scotland which revealed the number of under 16s caught with an offensive or bladed weapon in the city between 2015 and this year.

The figures also revealed that girls as young as 11 have also offended by having a weapon in their possession.

East Lothian Courier:

Some of the weapons that the kids were caught with included different varieties of knives, hammers, golf clubs, baseball bats and rocks.

A knuckle duster, shovel and drill were among the other weapons of choice.

More than 150 offenders were recorded over the two year period who were under 16 - and the majority were male.

East Lothian Courier:

Anti-knife campaigner John Muir, above, who son Damian was stabbed to death at just 34-years-old in a senseless unproved attack in Greenock, said that education was the key to getting the message across to young people about knife crime.

He also called for tougher sentences for those caught with offensive or bladed weapons - to deter others from doing the same.

East Lothian Courier:

His son Damian, above, was making his way home from a night out when a chance encounter with evil thug Barry Gavin claimed his life.

Gavin, then 21, was out on bail at the time, having been charged with no fewer than three separate assaults.

John, who marked the 10 year anniversary of Damian’s death this year, said: “Why is someone who is found in possession of a weapon without a reasonable explanation given Community Payback Orders?

“Possession of a weapon should give them a four-year tariff but we don’t want to upset their civil rights or liberties. My son was stabbed to death in the street. What happened to his civil rights and liberties when he was lying there and still getting stabbed?”

East Lothian Courier:

Luke Wallace

Last June, an East End community was rocked after promising young footballer Luke Wallace was stabbed in the groin during a confrontation with another teenager in Baillieston.

Luke, who was just 16, suffered massive blood loss from the wound and died in hospital eight days later.

The teenager responsible, 17, cannot be named for legal reasons because of his age and was handed a nine year sentence after he was convicted of culpable homicide and having a lock-back knife in his possession.

The Scottish Government’s No Knives Better Lives campaign say they have been tackling the issue by educating pupils in Glasgow schools.

The campaign recently developed a play called The Balisong which has been performed at seven schools in the city.

It promotes the reduction of knife use and opens up discussions with young people about the risks and consequences of carrying a knife.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “This government remains resolute in our determination to tackle knife crime, with offences of possession of offensive weapons down 69 per cent between 2006/07 and 2015/16, and we are continuing to work with schools and local authorities on anti-violence campaigns and curriculum programmes to reduce incidences further. We support the promotion of best practice, including what lessons we can learn from others as well as the interest from beyond Scotland in the pioneering preventative work of our National Violence Reduction Unit.

“We have been engaging closely with stakeholders as part of this process, including the Violence Reduction Unit and the Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools, whose members includes the Association of Directors of Education and all the teaching unions.”

Victim Support Scotland said that education and appropriate enforcement is needed to address the issue of young people carrying knives.

Victim Support Scotland's Director of Operations, Alan McCloskey said: “Knife crime can have a dramatic impact on the victims, their family and friends, and often, also the local community.

“Individuals can experience a wide range of physical, psychological, emotional and financial effects. Research tells us that that over 83 per cent of victims of violent crime experience long lasting trauma (with over 24% experiencing serious trauma).

“Normal reactions to such attacks include anger, shock, fear, loss of confidence and isolation on top of any physical injuries such as scarring.

“Many victims are often left wondering ‘why’ they have been attacked. Victim Support Scotland’s trained volunteers and staff can provide free, confidential help and support to individuals to provide coping strategies as well as emotional, practical support following this violent crime.”

The spokeswoman added: “Education and appropriate enforcement action are key to addressing issues arising from young people carrying knives, blades and other sharp instruments that can be used as weapons.”