A schoolboy was caught on the streets of a Perthshire town armed with a knife.
The youngster, believed to be 13-years-old, was searched by police after reports that he had chased a group of younger children into a shop.
Police Scotland has pledged to carry out a full investigation into the incident, following criticism from a local mum that not enough action was being taken.
The terrifying ordeal happened in Auchterarder town centre earlier this week.
A group of primary-age children took shelter in the town’s News Plus store, saying they had been chased by several older children.
It is alleged that one of the older youths then threatened the children with a penknife he had hidden in his clothing.
The grandfather of one of the children was called to the scene and confronted the gang, who denied they were in possession of a weapon.
Police were flagged down and asked to help. They carried out a search and found one of the boys had a knife.
It is understood the child was then taken home to his parents.
The father of one of the youngsters said: “It was very frightening. The boys were on their way home from school when they got chased.
“They went into the shop and were threatened with the knife. The older boy was saying: ‘Do you want some?’
“I just want the police to take this seriously.”
Chief Inspector Ian Scott promised the incident would be fully investigated.
He said: “Officers on patrol in Auchterarder on Monday evening were flagged down and made aware of an incident involving a group of local children. Acting on information provided, officers searched one young person and a penknife was recovered.”
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He added: “At the time, the officers concerned took initial action which was considered to be appropriate given the circumstances and the age of the children involved. This was of course on the understanding that further inquiry would follow in due course.”
He added: “We have continued those inquiries today and have made sure that the school is fully aware.
“Incidents involving young people and knives are a big concern for all of us and I would seek to reassure local parents that our response to this incident will get the level of priority it rightly deserves.”
A Perth and Kinross Council spokeswoman said: “The Community School of Auchterarder is aware of an incident in the community that occurred outside school hours this week, which Police Scotland responded to.
“Following this isolated incident appropriate action is being taken to support children and young people. School staff and local police officers will work to provide advice and reassurance to pupils.”