Knife incidents raise school safety concerns

Fraserburgh Academy
Fraserburgh Academy

A local councillor has urged everyone to be ‘extra vigilant’ after a second incident of a pupil charged with taking a weapon into a Broch school.

A 15 year-old male was charged by police for taking a blade into Fraserburgh Academy on Wednesday, March 9.

No-one was injured and police and school staff were said to have acted quickly to resolve the matter.

It follows another case of a pupil being charged in the Broch for taking a knife into a primary school the previous week.

Police Scotland confirmed that they charged a pupil for taking a knife into the primary school - which cannot be named due to legal reasons - on Tuesday, March 1.

Councillor Brian Topping (pictured), who is also head of the Fraserburgh & District Community Safety Group, said: “Schools in Aberdeenshire are safe places to be and I want to reassure parents and grandparents.

But at the same time it is extremely concerning. I would like to thank the staff and head teacher with how they dealt with it.

“I do not think we are at the level of the US where we need metal detectors, but I think everyone needs to be extra vigilant.”

He added that if a pupil felt the need to take a weapon into school for self protection because of feeling threatened, that they should talk to a parent or teacher first, as “accidents can happen”.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Secondary Education and Additional Support Vincent Docherty said: “We are working closely with colleagues in Police Scotland in relation to an incident involving an offensive weapon being brought into Fraserburgh Academy. Swift action was taken by the school, no-one was harmed and the matter is being investigated.”

Addressing what measures are being taken to ensure school safety - and referencing the tragic death of Bailey Gywnne at Cults Academy last year - he added: “A series of assemblies took place in conjunction with school liaison officers from Police Scotland to reinforce the message that it is against the law to carry a weapon and we are taking this matter very seriously given recent incidents in school.

“The safety of every pupil and member of staff within Aberdeenshire schools is of paramount importance and whilst these incidents are rare, as the majority of our pupils are well-behaved, we are not complacent.

“Any behaviour that threatens the safety of our school communities will not be tolerated and I encourage anyone with any related concerns to contact their local school for support.”

Superintendent for North East Division Police Scotland, Kate Stephen, said: “We have very positive relationships with all schools in our area and will continue to work directly with them and our partners in the local authority to ensure that together we provide safe learning environments whilst highlighting the dangers of carrying knives. Our dedicated schools based and liaison officers supplement the work of the local community officers across the north east in tackling this.

“Taking a knife or any potential weapon into school, regardless of the reason, 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 and we will continue to work with all our partner agencies to change attitudes towards the possession of knives.

“The north east of Scotland remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit and we will continue to work alongside our partner agencies to ensure it remains that way.”