ANTI-KNIFE crime campaigners have been targeting teenagers and their families in a bid to stop young people carrying knives and weapons.

Staff from the Scottish Government funded initiative No Knives, Better Lives and members of ParentLine Scotland visited shopping centres and supermarkets to urge parents to talk to their children about the issue.

They targeted more than 9000 mothers and fathers over the past six weeks and offered tips about how to steer youngsters away from gang and knife culture.

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They also passed on information about activities set up to help offer alternatives to crime and violence.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "There is never an excuse for carrying a knife and we will continue to work tirelessly with all our partners to change the culture in which some people believe it's acceptable to carry knives."

Jill Cook, ParentLine Scotland manager, said: "We regularly receive calls from parents who are worried that their children are getting involved in risky situations and who feel unsure about what they can do to encourage them to make better choices."