Knife crime – information for all

Knife crime is any crime that involves a sharp or bladed instrument, and can include anything from a kitchen knife or piece of glass to a potato peeler or a knitting needle.  Knife crime can range from threat of violence, where someone is carrying a sharp or bladed instrument to someone who receives an injury as a result of a sharp object or bladed instrument.

There are many different criminal offences relating to knives and offensive weapons – offences include:

Anyone carrying a knife or a gun, even an imitation one, will be arrested and prosecuted. It is no excuse in UK legislation to say it was for protection or they were carrying it for someone else.  A change in the Law means that anyone aged 16-17 years old who is convicted of carrying a knife for a second time will automatically receive a detention and training order of at least 4 months.

Why do people carry knives?
Many of those who carry knifes say initially they carried them for their own protection. Evidence shows that those who carry knives for their own protection are more likely to become a victim as a result and the knife can be turned on them.

However some experts argue that often it is a fear of gangs and crime that leads to young people carrying knives, because they believe it will help to keep them safe. Those weapons may then be used which could make the number of violent incidents go up.  Find out more in our gang activity & serious youth violence resource.

GMP are working closely with partner agencies to promote and increase public confidence in their ability to reduce knife crime across our region – find out more about their Knives take lives campaign at

Childline have an age appropriate gun and knife crime resource which can be found  at

If you are aware of a person carrying a knife and is a threat, phone the Police immediately on 999 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

If a child or young person is at risk of harm please report it.

Safeguarding children & young people in education from knife crime

No single agency, including schools, can solve knife crime on its own. In March 2019 the government published Safeguarding children and young people in education from knife crime. This report summarises findings and recommendations from a research project carried out in 29 schools, colleges and pupil referral units in London. Read the report at

Findings have been condensed into recommendations that focus on areas of practice and policy for schools and wider agencies individually, and together, that can be tightened to keep children and young people safer – these include:

  • improving partnership working and strategic planning
  • sharing and promoting good practice in relation to exclusions and managed moves
  • coordinating early help and prevention
  • improving information-sharing
  • teaching the curriculum and supporting children to achieve.

Anti-knife crime campaign

In March 2018, the Home Office launched an anti-knife crime advertising campaign to reduce knife crime among young people and challenge perceptions that carrying a knife is normal. The campaign forms part of the government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which sets out action to tackle serious violence by placing new emphasis on steering young people away from crime while continuing to promote the strongest possible law enforcement approach.

The campaign includes a dedicated #knifefree website which provides advice, signposts support services and highlights activities to empower young people to change their behaviour.

For further information visit the website  or to download resources visit the website


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