Look at some of the facts below about the realities of knife crime
It is a criminal offence for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase a knife
Carrying a knife is illegal and you could be sentenced to four-years in prison, if you're found to be in possession of one
Self-protection is not a reasonable excusefor carrying an offensive weapon; you can still receive a criminal record
You may feel like you need to carry because of the places you go or people you hang out with or for protection, but according to statistics, 99% of young people in England and Wales are living knife free
If you carry a knife, you are more likely to be stabbed because you may be considered to be a threat. There is the possibility that if you attempt to use your own knife, you could be overpowered and injured by your own weapon
If a police officer suspects you are carrying a knife or a weapon, they can stop and search you. If you have a knife or weapon in your possession, you will be arrested
A head teacher or other authorised member of staff of a school in England has the right to search you and your possessions, if they have reasonable grounds to think you may be carrying an offensive weapon
If someone is injured or killed by a knife whilst you're there - even if you didn't use the knife yourself - you could be convicted of joint enterprise. The joint enterprise law means you could be sentenced for encouraging or assisting the crime
There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone. A wound to the arm or leg can still be life threatening. A small blade can be enough to cut an artery leading to death within minutes.
The first thing to do if someone has been stabbed is to check your surroundings to ensure you're safe. If you feel that you could be in danger, make your way to a safe location and immediately call 999
Once you've called 999, you can keep them warm and apply pressure to the wound to help prevent the bleeding. It's vital that you don't remove the knife, as this can cause further blood loss
Now you’ve carried a knife there’s no way back – wrong! It’s never too late to change. No good can come from carrying a knife. Help and support is available. Find out in the support section below.
If you have a criminal record, you might not be accepted into a college or university, get a job, or travel to some countries
You can report an incident of knife crime by calling 101 or talking to us via LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
The consequences of knife crime can be far reaching. You may think that you’re protecting yourself, that you’ll gain respect or even be feared for carrying a weapon, but in reality, all it does is put you, your friends and your family in danger.
What happens if you get caught with a knife?
If you’re caught carrying a knife, you can receive a four-year prison sentence, even if you don’t use it. If you injure, or even worse kill someone, you could go to prison for even longer.
If you are convicted of knife crime, you’ll get a criminal record. This could stop you gaining entry into college or university, getting a job and could place restrictions on you travelling to some countries. If you receive a sentence of over 30-months, this will stay on your record for life.
Will you be safer if you carry a knife?
If you carry a knife, you are more likely to be injured because you may be considered to be a threat. There is the possibility that if you attempt to use your own knife, you could be overpowered and injured by your own weapon.
What happens if a friend uses a knife and you’re with them?
If someone is injured or killed by a knife in your presence, you could be prosecuted even if did not commit the crime. You could be sent to prison for murder in what is referred to as ‘joint enterprise’.
What impact does knife crime have on family and friends?
Violence can have devastating consequences on young people, families, and communities, including stopping young people from achieving their goals in life.
It can also have an impact on innocent people who can get caught up in the middle of an argument and end up hurt.
You can be the one who makes the difference by making a stand. How you can do this:
Speaking Out - It may be a difficult, but talking with your parents, teachers or a trusted adult will help.
You can also report and concerns anonymously via CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111, or by visiting www.fearless.org.
Support is always there for you and your friends.
Be a good friend – If you know that one of your friends is involved in knife crime, it's vital that information is reported, as it's not right to stand by and do nothing. Speaking out, could mean that a life is saved. https://youtu.be/0wgT0Ushnzg
Be aware of who you hang around with; good friends should never pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do.
Stay away from violence – If you’re aware of areas in your community where violent incidents regularly take place, if you can, stay away. Choose to hang out in areas which are safer where you and your friends are less likely to get caught up in forms of conflict or violence.
Have a focus – Take up a hobby or activity that you enjoy doing, which helps you avoid becoming involved in dangerous situations and enables you to develop skills, meet new people, and achieve your future goals.
What to do at the point of conflict?
Get help – In an emergency, always call 999. If it isn’t an emergency, then you can call 101 or contact us online at www.gmp.police.uk. We advise calling on a trusted adult, which could be a teacher, a youth worker or a security worker depending on where you are.
Distract or diffuse the situation – This means getting your friend away from the situation of conflict. You could suggest going for a walk or maybe going getting something to eat, as it’s about separating, taking some time out and calming down.
Take direct action – If it’s safe to do so, you can take direct action. It’s important to think about the situation, be aware of who you’re talking to and ensuring you don’t make the situation worse. Addressing the person in a non-aggressive manner, asking them to stop and explaining that their actions are wrong.
As part of the continued fight against knife crime across Greater Manchester, the GM Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) launched their #SpeakingOutCouldSaveALife anti-violence campaign.
We understand that young people will often go to extreme lengths to protect and look out for friends and peers, and are often reluctant to report or share concerns (even anonymously) if friends are involved in a dispute, violence or carrying a knife. However, it's vital that information is reported, as it's not right to stand by and do nothing, and doing so, could mean that a life is saved.
If you don't feel comfortable reporting information to the police, we advise you tell a trusted adult, such as a parent, family member, or teacher who can help. If you are worried that someone will find out that you’ve given information, reports and concerns can be made with 100% anonymity through CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111, or by visiting www.fearless.org.
It might be a difficult conversation, but talking about and reporting knife crime is the way to finding a solution and to saving lives. Find out more below:
Childline is a free service for children and young people, where you can get help and advice, and talk about a wide range of issues by calling 0800 1111.
42nd Street is an innovative Greater Manchester young people’s mental health charity with 40 years’ experience of providing free and confidential services to young people who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
84 Youth is a youth-led organisation with young people deciding on the direction of the project. The organisation aims to deal with the causes of youth violence and challenge the gang narrative through work with young people.
Raise the Youth Foundation is an organisation which delivers programmes of intervention to benefit the lives of children and families across a range of sectors including education, health, justice, community development and social care.
is a non-profit organisation that offers care, support and education for children and young people with complex needs.