SCHOOLS are still not fully collating knife crimes nearly two years on from the fatal stabbing of an Aberdeen pupil.

Half of all Scottish councils have proved unable to provide figures for incidents involving bladed weapons.

This comes despite firm recommendations from Aberdeen Council that all knife incidents be reported to the police and properly recorded after the October 2015 murder of sixteen-year-old Bailey Gwynne.

The Gwynne killing came despite an overall decline in serious violent crime in Scotland and a dramatic general trend away from knife-carrying among young people.

But his death highlighted the need to carefully track blades in schools and the young people found to have them.

A trawl of local authorities using freedom of information laws by the Sunday post newspaper found that there had been 79 unspecified incidents involving knives, including possession, in Scottish schools since 2015.

However, 15 of Scotland’s 32 councils failed to provide any data, mostly because they said it was too costly to collate such figures from individual pupil records.

Anti-knife campaigner David Stark told the paper: “I am surprised to hear some councils saying they don’t know how many have had knives. Surely every school would know without having to search through every pupil’s record?”

After a decade-long decline in knife-carrying, figures for possession of an offensive weapon rose 10 per cent in the first half of 2016.

Police Scotland last week announced new counting procedures that may inflate figures further.

Much serious knife crime, however, takes place in the home and affects people who know each other well.

Police sources have long warned that they cannot put “CCTV in the cutlery drawers” of the most troubled people.

One of Scotland’s most distinguished mental health experts this weekend suggested changes to the design of kitchen knives, introducing an R-shape tip to ensure they can slice and cut but not jab.

John Crichton, chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said he believed such a public health move would save lives. He said: “It would be a bit like the smoking ban or minimum pricing.”

Dr Crichton mooted an initial roll-out of such rules for homes where there has been a history of domestic violence. Others have questioned the practicality of policing kitchen knives.

The killer of Bailey Gwynne bought his nice on Amazon. New rules have been imposed so that youngsters find it hard to pick up such products.

Meanwhile, a stained glass window commemorating the victim has been installed in the school where he died.

The artwork was unveiled during a private event at the school this week, which was attended by Bailey’s family, along with friends and staff from the school.

The panel includes references to some of Bailey’s favourite places, including Paris, Barcelona and Caithness, as well as the Gwynne family dogs, the Scouts, his family and friends and his hopes for a future career in the Marines.

Designed and made by Shona McInnes, of Leadline Studio in Keith, it contains the messages “shine bright like a diamond” and “remembering Bailey, our pupil, our friend”.

HeraldScotland | Crime & Courts

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