OUR revelations in Sunday’s paper make worrying reading. Eastern European crime gangs arming criminals in this country with an array of weapons to the point that their deals even include a sweetener – a free hand grenade.
The expose also comes after an extraordinary 15 months in Scotland in which we have seen gang-related violence become a common occurrence.
Young men shot dead at traffic lights, others blasted outside primary schools as they drop off their children, and others slashed and stabbed.
Now while Justice Minister Michael Matheson tells the country that offences are at record low levels and that most folk don’t witness crime, he must accept the scale of the problem involving organised criminals.
It’s also too easy for others to shrug their shoulders and say that gangsters don’t impact on their lives and they can happily do away with each other.
Such views couldn’t be more misguided.
Organised crime makes millions of pounds from illicit activities that blight lives throughout Scotland.
Drugs, for instance, kill indiscriminately whether you live in a council housing estate or a private gated community.
And who’s to say that the next time a hood tries to take out another criminal with a gun at a set of traffic lights he doesn’t also claim the life of an innocent bystander, even a child?
So while those in authority praise themselves over a reduction in offending figures across the board, they must do more to eradicate organised crime in Scotland.
Convictions after a violent event are a step forward but they are just that – after the event.
The murder and mayhem associated with gangs must be stopped before it happens.