Eight-year-old boy charged over Aberdeen primary school knife incident

An eight-year-old boy has been charged following an incident involving a canteen knife at a school.

The incident is said to have happened during the lunch break at the Aberdeen primary on Friday.

A pupil support assistant is believed to have grabbed the cutlery from the boy and no one was injured.

Police were then called to the school, which cannot be named for legal reasons, and the pupil was charged with threatening and abusive behaviour.

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman added: “We would like to reassure parents and the public this was dealt with in strict accordance with our policies and procedures aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of our children.

“As this is a police matter, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland can confirm that an eight-year-old boy has been charged in connection with an alleged offence of threatening and abusive behaviour following an incident on Friday.

“A report will be submitted to the Youth Justice Management Unit.”
Scotland currently has a zero tolerance policy on knife crime, prohibiting them being carried or used in public without good reason.

The use of weapons in north-east schools came further into the spotlight following the death of Bailey Gwynne at Cults Academy in October 2015.

The 16-year-old died from a single stab wound to the heart by a classmate, who was later convicted of his culpable homicide.

While the boy charged last week was just eight years old, the Scottish Conservatives’ justice spokesman Liam Kerr has defended the policy.

He said: “It is right that stringent new measures were put in place at schools across the city following that tragic incident.

“In this case, some parents may wonder if criminal charges may be a step too far, but it would be a mistake to make that judgment before all the facts are known.

“We must allow the police to do their job, and have confidence that they have weighed up the evidence before making a decision to charge this boy.”

Some critics however have claimed the “zero tolerance” approach may have become too heavy-handed.

The city council’s Liberal Democrat education spokesman, Martin Greig, said: “It is not always immediately obvious to know what has happened until there has been careful gathering of information from those involved.

“Every case will be different and complex in its own way.

“The justice system is not a slot machine which dispenses an automatic response.

“Each situation has to be dealt with individually with evidence weighed up and taking the circumstances into account.

“The use of discretion is a vital part of the police process.”