Information for parents.

Worried about a child or young person? Family, friends and role models are an important influence, and you can have a powerful effect.

  • Young people face all sorts of pressures. Finding out why they carry can help lead to a solution.
  • Simply listening and giving time to a young person can encourage them to think about their decisions and behaviour.
  • Teaching them the consequences of knife crime can also help them to understand that carrying a knife is not the answer.
  • Understanding how upset you’d be if they got caught with a knife or got injured could help them realise the impact their actions have on you.
  • Whilst many young people do not carry knives – if you are concerned you should still speak about it.

Before talking to a young person about knives, you need to know the facts:

  • It’s illegal for anyone to carry a knife – even in self-defence and even if the knife belongs to someone else, such as a friend or a partner.
  • Carrying a knife could mean being arrested, going to court and getting a criminal record, or even a prison sentence.

It might be a difficult conversation – but talking is critical to finding a solution. When you speak to someone about knife carrying, it’s important to be clear that they have a choice, even when they think they may not. These are some points to raise:

By carrying a knife you:

  • Have a false sense of security.
  • Could be increasing the risk of getting stabbed or injured.
  • Are breaking the law.

Not carrying, and walking away from confrontation:

  • Is the smart thing to do.
  • Is what the vast majority do.
  • Is the stronger thing to do.
  • Means you’ll be safer from serious harm and not breaking the law.

It’s also important to encourage them to get involved in positive activities.

Help in your local area.

Contact your local authority for a list of local parenting groups and organisations that can offer advice. For links to all local authority websites, please visit

Families can help each other.

Speak to the families of your child’s friends. If you’re worried, chances are they have concerns about their child too. Working together can be a valuable way to look out for each other and help keep your children safe.


If you suspect someone is carrying a knife or other offensive weapons, or have information about a crime, you can report it safely and anonymously to Crimestoppers.

Call: 0800 555 111 at any time or visit the Crimestoppers website


The NSPCC helpline is a place adults can contact by phone or online to get advice or share their concerns about a child, anonymously if they wish.

Call: 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website

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