Thousands of Dundee youngsters have been learning about knife crime as part of the No Knives Better Lives initiative.
Since the programme started two years ago, more than 5,000 school pupils across the city have been given peer-mentoring sessions delivered by Dundee’s Police Scotland Youth Volunteers.
The sessions are delivered as part of the curriculum in a bid to give kids knowledge of knife crime in society.
Andrew Hutton, group coordinator for Dundee’s Police Scotland Youth Volunteers, said: “The main message is to let young people know the dangers of carrying knives in schools or in public and also the consequences.
“Over 5,000 young people within the high schools of Dundee have now been taught the message of No Knives Better Lives.”
Andrew added: “In S1 they learn more about the consequnces of carrying a knife at school or in public places, while in S2 they learn about the body and how many pints of blood are required to survive.
“The young people are then trained in first aid, which would assist if any of their friends or passers-by have been stabbed to prevent further blood loss.
“I think it’s fair to say knife crime in Scotland is lowered by educating young people about it.
“Other youth organisations will contact Police Scotland Youth Volunteers if they want to have this lesson and then the volunteers attend to provide it.
“As a police officer myself, seeing young people delivering the message and the reaction from the pupils shows the peer education certainly works and they take pride in what they do.”
The initiative is carried out in partnership with Dundee City Council’s children and families services department as the city remains the only local authority that delivers the programme through peer education.
Sarah Anderson, city council children and families education support officer, said: “The peer education approach is such an important element of it because we find the message is best given to young people coming from young people.
“We’re the only authority to have input on such large numbers through delivering it in schools and I know other local authorities are looking at what we do.”
Ms Anderson added: “There are ongoing evaluations as with all programmes. We’ll sit down and look at to see if any developments can be made.”
No Knives Better Lives was established following the tragic death of Aberdeen schoolboy Bailey Gwynne.
The 16-year-old died after he was stabbed during an attack made by a fellow pupil at an Aberdeen school back in October 2015.
YouthLink Scotland is behind the project and senior development officer Vicky Ridley said: “Overall, there’s been a 64% reduction in the use of offensive weapons over the last 10 years – so we seem to be doing something right.
“We’ve moved away from scare tactics and are encouraging the media to do the same.
“We’re trying to discourage the stigmatisation of young people, even if it’s inadvertently.”
She added: “I think Dundee has some very good models of practice with the police youth scotland volunteers and with peer education.”