FIVE knives were removed from a Wee County primary school as the result of preventative police work in the area.

The early intervention, highlighted in a report from police chiefs to councillors on the Partnership and Performance Committee last week, saw support provided to a vulnerable child, who took the blade to school because he was picked upon by others.

And the wider work of officers in the same school in the wake of that incident saw four more knives reported, thanks to the "positive attitude" of young people.

Indeed, a councillor said that police and firefighters are "not just a blue light going by" as proactive, preventative and partnership working was hailed by elected members last Thursday, March 12.

The Wee County's area commander, Chief Inspector Audrey Marsh highlighted how officers had been engaging with the community as part of prevention work to reduce harm.

Among the initiatives undertaken between April and September 2019 was the No Knives, Better Lives campaign, which was taken to the Secondary School Support unit to engage with children and young people.

PC Allen delivered a presentation, with an indoor football match between community officers and pupils also taking place to enhance relationships.

And in September, senior staff at a local primary also identified antisocial behaviour, including fire-raising and knife-related crime.

The report read: "Local community officers supported by staff members and partner agencies identified a pupil who had brought a knife to school, in general for the purposes of showing off due to him feeling picked upon by other pupils."

However, there was an opportunity for an early intervention with a partnership approach to support the "vulnerable child" and implement safeguards.

The parents were also involved and family support meant that the intervention work continued at home.

The issue was also raised more widely in the school and four more incidents were later reported "which were dealt with swiftly and only came to our attention due to the observations of our young people and their respective positive attitude to reporting these incidents".

There was much more, including activity with autistic pupils at New Struan School and smoking cessation sessions at Alva Academy.

The fire service continues to identify and support vulnerable people via fire safety visits, completing 541 in the reporting period along with talks in schools, at groups, in prison and more.

It has also worked with care experienced people in the Oor Clacks Voices group and the open day at Alloa Fire Station continues to be popular with more than 1,000 people attending.

And as reported recently, the fire service has also brought its partnership with the Anthony Nolan charity to local schools.

In all this time, there were no reports of violence toward crews in the Wee County, "which reflects on the positive partnership working carried out".