Know the facts


As a parent, before having a discussion with your child about knives and other bladed weapons, it’s important that you know the facts so that you can confidently answer any questions that may be asked or challenge any misconceptions. Below is some of the key information to help you to make sure you know what you’re talking about before approaching your child. Just click on each of the boxes below for more information

Criminal consequences and the law

Police can and do stop and search anyone they believe to be carrying a knife.

If your child is found with a knife, even if they didn’t use/produce it, they could face up to four years imprisonment.

Carrying a knife for self-protection is not a permissible defence.

Your child doesn’t have to have been the person carrying the knife to be found guilty of murder. Just being present can be enough for them to be convicted under legislation known as joint enterprise.

It is illegal for shops to sell knives to under 18s (even kitchen knives and cutlery).

Medical facts and consequences

There is no safe place to be stabbed.   All areas of the body are supplied by an intricate network of blood vessels.  If an artery is severed, the victim could lose all of their blood and die within just 1 minute.

By carrying a knife themselves, young people are far more likely to be stabbed.  7 out of 10 knife injuries seen in Emergency Departments are caused by the victim’s own knife.

Even small knives can cause significant damage.  Once the knife has entered the skin, it’s impossible to know what damage it has caused without specialist medical assessment.  Some areas of the heart are less than one inch away from the skin.

Social consequences

A criminal record can affect employment opportunities for your child in the future and can even restrict future travel to countries such as the USA , Canada or Australia (even just for a holiday).

The cost of a knife murder to the economy is £1.8 million.

If your child has to go to prison, there is no guarantee of them being placed in a local Young Offender’s Institution.  They may be placed many miles away.


© 2021 Derby City Council