It can be extremely worrying to think that your child, family member or friend is involved in knife crime.
Maybe they are not carrying the weapon themselves, but are associated with people who are.
The natural reaction is to panic – but this won’t resolve the situation and could push the person away.
It is important to take action and have difficult conversations. The consequences of not doing so could be extremely serious. You must do something about it.
If you discover someone you know has been carrying a knife, you’ll most likely be asking ‘Why?’ It might be for a number of reasons:
To gain respect
To intimidate or harass
Peer pressure or being pressured into carrying it for someone else
Whatever the reason, it is likely to have something to do with fear – even if they don’t admit it. They will be grateful for a way out.
What can you do?
The consequences and dangers of carrying a knife are real.
Having a difficult conversation, while uncomfortable at the time, can be vital in preventing something more serious from happening.
Telling someone’s parents they that you think their son or daughter is carrying a knife, or having a tough conversation with your child is better than the alternative; visiting them in hospital or attending their funeral.
Telling the police a friend is carrying a knife is better than the alternative; seeing your mate get stabbed or stabbing someone else.
Could you live with yourself if you didn’t say something?
Being a good friend or parent isn’t always easy. Sometimes people need to hear uncomfortable truths. There are lots of places you can go to for help – either for a friend or yourself. You can talk to parents, teachers, youth workers, various charities or the police who can provide support to you, both to prepare for difficult conversation and the to support afterwards.
See below for links to more organisations that can offer support and advice.
If you are a friend – you can talk to your friend’s parents, their teacher, social services or the police.
Whatever your relationship, it they are at risk – tell someone.
Who else can you talk to?
If you are worried and want help to keep either a young person or yourself safe, you can contact the following organisations:
Childline counsellors can support young people 24 hours a day, you can call them on 0800 1111.