Some young people feel that it will be safer for them to carry a knife as it is the best way to be protected.
The reasons are many, from involvement in a gang, drug dealing and working for dealers to living in a rougher area and feeling the need for ‘protection’. But while a knife might make you feel safer, it is likely to get you badly hurt and carrying a knife is a criminal offence.
The scariest thing about knives is just how dangerous they actually are. It’s very easy to think of using a knife for defence only and that if you jab someone’s arm or leg it will all be OK; the fact is that there is no safe place to assault another person with a dangerous weapon and you can bleed to death from a small wound in the wrong place.
Another common reason for carrying a weapon is the respect it earns the person carrying it. Just because people are scared of you doesn’t mean that they respect you. There are ways that you can earn respect from others, but they generally involve a commitment from you and hard work.
You need to feel safe but there are better ways than arming yourself with a deadly weapon that could see you spending time in jail or as a victim yourself, either when someone takes your knife off you and stabs you, or you are targeted as part of a revenge attack.
Check out the links below for more information on gangs, knives and how to stay safe when out and about.
Who can help?
You can find out more about knives and the law on the Directgov website.
TheSite.org* offers plenty of very frank and factual information about all the issues surrounding carrying a knife or other weapon. Find out more about: avoiding violence, the dangers of carrying a weapon, weapons and the law, and gangs.
An anti-knife crime campaign was launched in May 2008 to tackle knife crime among young people. For more information about the ‘It doesn’t have to happen’ campaign, go to www.bebo.com/itdoesnthavetohappen.
* Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that content on TheSite.org will be suitable for younger users and, although we aim to check the sites that we link to as often as possible, we cannot take responsibility for their content.