It’s illegal to buy a knife if you’re under 18 years old.
The police can stop and search anyone they think is carrying a weapon.
It’s illegal to buy, sell or carry any type of banned knife.
Carrying a knife can mean four years in prison, even if you don’t use it.
It’s illegal to carry a knife, unless you have a legitimate reason.
Self-protection is not a reasonable excuse for carrying an offensive weapon – in fact, by carrying a knife, you are much more likely to get stabbed yourself as situations involving weapons can quickly get out of control.
Under a law called ‘joint enterprise’ you could actually end up in prison too if you were involved, or a court believes you assisted the person in committing the offence, even if you didn’t touch or use the weapon.
Knives are the UK’s number one murder weapon, with a teenager being stabbed every nine days in the UK.
Knife crime isn’t just a gang issue. The vast majority of knife murders have nothing to do with gang crime.
There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone.
If you have a criminal record, it can greatly impact on your life by: restricting your travel to other countries, not being accepted into a college or university, impact on job opportunities or the ability to work in certain fields.
The consequences – knives shatter lives
Carrying a knife and using it can lead to serious injuries and, sadly, people losing their lives.
There is no ‘safe place’ to get stabbed – a wound in the arm or leg can still kill as much as a wound to the heart, and young people have died due to an artery being severed.
Even when knife crime doesn’t kill, it can leave you with a life changing disability which affects how you live the rest of your life, as well as having a negative mental impact; even for those who weren’t directly involved.
However, the effects are much more widespread, even if there are no injuries.
Family and friendships shattered
Many families are devastated by losing someone they love, whether that’s losing them completely through being a victim of murder, or whether it’s because you’ve committed a crime and they can’t see you because you’re in prison. Younger siblings or family members will grow up without a close relationship with you which can have a huge impact on their mental health. This type of crime can also be hugely damaging to yours and your families reputation locally as well them being potentially verbally or physically abused due to a crime that a family member has committed.
Travel opportunities shattered
Many countries are very strict on the people they allow in to their country, whether for an extended period or just for a holiday. For example, the USA and Australia will check and if you have a criminal record, this may mean you might never be able to visit or live there.
Career opportunities shattered
There are three main areas where a criminal record will need to be declared – education, travel and jobs. Having a permanent criminal record will make it harder for you to get in to college or university, and some jobs don’t allow you to apply if you have a criminal record. This means you might never get in to your first choice university and, as such, affecting the career you wanted and taking away the potential of achieving your dream job and stability.
If you are found to be carrying a weapon, even without intending to use it, you can receive four years in prison. This will also mean a permanent criminal record and, if you hurt someone, you could go to prison for longer.