Op Sceptre - Advice for parents on speaking to your children about knife crime
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This week as part of Operation Sceptre, we're asking parents, guardians and extended family members, to talk to your young family members about knife crime as you can all play a vital role in preventing them from becoming involved with knife crime. We advise you to try to talk to them openly about the dangers, as well as the life-changing consequences that come from carrying a knife.
We have some simple advice to help you have the conversation. Firstly, establish the most appropriate time and setting to have an open conversation about knife crime; it should be somewhere that you both feel comfortable.
Be aware that a young person may be reluctant to talk to you about knife crime, so reassure them that they can be honest with you, as well as letting them know that you’ll listen to what they have to say and support them without judgement.
You should encourage them to share their fears and worries. We know that fear and a feeling of vulnerability is often the reason behind people carrying knives. Many young people do so because they are afraid for their own safety and they believe a knife will protect them. So it's important that they realise, that their chances of becoming a victim of knife crime increases just by carrying one. Sharing your own fears can also help, as this can help them open up.
It's important to highlight that vast majority of young people don’t carry a knife as they do not give you protection, and it's not acceptable. Let them know that they do have a choice when it comes to carrying a knife, even though it may seem to them like they don’t.
Encourage them to consider who they’d be affecting if they get involved in knife crime and what consequences can come from it, such as being expelled from school, being sent to prison or even worse, someone tragically losing their life. Also reiterate to walk away from a dangerous situation.
It's important that we ask young people to look out for their friends; it's not right to stand by and do nothing if they know a friend is carrying a knife or weapon. We advise they tell a trusted adult, such as a parent, family member, or teacher. If they are worried that someone will find out, you can report their concerns anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.
During a conversation about knife crime with your child, you may hear some upsetting and concerning things about what they, and even their friends may be involved in, but try not to get upset or overreact as you don't have to deal with this on your own – help is available via CrimeStoppers, or the Fearless campaign website: https://www.fearless.org/en/give-info.
If you have concerns about someone you know or care about who is carrying or hiding a knife, or if you are aware that knives are being concealed in your community, call the Police on 101 or talk to us via LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk. Always dial 999 in an emergency.