Police will use stop-and-search powers across the country to disrupt and deter people who use weapons, Scotland's chief constable has warned.

Stephen House said Police Scotland would target those who carry knives as part of the force's approach to cutting violent crime.

He told those gathered at the No Knives, Better Lives network event in Easterhouse, Glasgow, yesterday that officers would use stop-and-search as one of a range of tactics.

He said: "There is nothing to fear from stop-and-search. My officers will target known knife-carriers and violent offenders, and be visible and conduct searches in the areas where the community tell us there is likelihood of violence, disorder or knife-carrying.

"The use of stop-and-search powers is a proactive, intelligence-led policing tactic. Officers will not randomly search individuals or groups without reasonable cause to suspect an offence."

He added: "Knives are not defensive weapons, they are offensive and their potential use can have a major impact."

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "It is never acceptable to carry a knife. Too many families have lost loved ones as a result of someone believing it was acceptable to take a weapon on our streets."