Knife Crime Awareness: What You Need to Know

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20th – 26th May 2024

Understanding knife crime is vital for everyone, as we all share a responsibility to confront it. Knife Crime Awareness Week highlights the complexity of this issue, its devastating effects on families and communities, and stresses that it is preventable.

There are many ways you can help make a difference. Whether it’s through educating others, taking a pledge, sharing your own experiences, or fundraising, you have the power to create change in our society.

The Reality of Knife Crime

  • Prevalence: Knife crime affects many young people across the globe. In some areas, it has reached epidemic levels, impacting not just those involved, but entire communities.
  • Victims and Perpetrators: Both victims and perpetrators of knife crime are often young, with many cases involving individuals under 25.
  • Consequences: The repercussions of knife crime are severe and far-reaching. They include physical injury, psychological trauma, criminal records, and even loss of life.

Knife Crime Statistics | The Ben Kinsella Trust

Understanding the Impact

  • Personal Harm: A knife attack can result in serious injury or death, leaving lasting scars both physically and emotionally.
  • Family and Friends: The pain extends beyond the individual, deeply affecting families and friends who must cope with the aftermath.
  • Community: High levels of knife crime create fear and mistrust within communities, disrupting everyday life and eroding social cohesion.

Why Young People Get Involved

  • Peer Pressure: Many young people feel compelled to carry knives due to pressure from friends or gang affiliations.
  • Fear and Protection: Some carry knives for self-defence, believing it makes them safer, though it often increases the risk of violence.
  • Cultural Influences: Media and societal portrayals of knife-carrying can glamorize this dangerous behaviour, misleading young people.

Myths vs. Reality

  • Myth: Carrying a knife keeps you safe.
    • Reality: Carrying a knife actually increases your risk of being injured or killed. You’re more likely to have it used against you.
  • Myth: It’s only for self-defence.
    • Reality: Situations involving knives can quickly escalate from self-defence to criminal acts, leading to severe consequences.
  • Myth: Everyone carries one.
    • Reality: Most people do not carry knives. It’s important to resist the pressure and make safe choices.

Legal Consequences

  • Arrest and Charges: Being caught with a knife can lead to immediate arrest, criminal charges, and a permanent record.
  • Sentencing: Knife-related offences often result in long prison sentences, affecting your future opportunities and freedom.
  • Life-Long Impact: A criminal record can limit your job prospects, travel opportunities, and more, affecting your life long after the offence.

How to Stay Safe

  • Avoid Risky Situations: Stay away from places and people where knife crime is prevalent. Trust your instincts and seek safe environments.
  • Speak Up: If you know someone carrying a knife or planning violence, speak to a trusted adult or authority figure. Your information could save lives.
  • Seek Support: Many organisations offer support for young people at risk of getting involved in knife crime. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Taking Action

  • Education and Awareness: Participate in programs and workshops that educate about the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
  • Community Involvement: Join or support community initiatives aimed at reducing violence and promoting safety.
  • Positive Role Models: Look up to individuals who make positive choices and avoid violence. Be a role model for your peers by choosing peace over conflict.

Resources for Help

  • Helplines and Websites: Use helplines and websites dedicated to supporting young people affected by knife crime.
  • Local Organisations: Engage with local organisations that provide counselling, education, and intervention programs.
  • School Resources: Many schools have resources and staff trained to help students dealing with issues related to knife crime.

Final Thoughts

Knife crime is a serious issue that requires awareness and proactive steps to combat. By understanding the risks, making informed choices, and seeking support, you can help create a safer environment for yourself and others. Remember, choosing not to carry a knife is a powerful step towards a brighter, safer future.

Knife Crime – Wales Safer Communities

Help and support

For victims, families and concerned people

If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of crime, please report it to the Police. Call 101 or report it online depending on your region within Wales – North Wales Police. In an emergency, call 999.

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the Police textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

If you have information about crime and wish to remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.

If you’ve been affected by crime, you can access support from Victim Support, including via their free 24/7 national support line 08 08 16 89 111, or get support online.

You may wish to consider joining Neighbourhood Watch, or other police supported initiatives such as OWL – Online Watch Link.

As always, you can come in to see a youth worker at the Info Shop, Monday to Friday for information, advice and guidance – we are open from 11:30am.


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