What are the risks of knife crime?
When you carry a knife, you are risking everything. Prison, being a victim of crime and even ending up in hospital are all real risks. Beyond this, knife crime has devastating personal effects on you, your friends, and your family.
While some young people pick up a knife to feel safer, they don’t realise that carrying makes them more likely to get into serious danger. A knife can escalate things way out of your control, and make a bad situation much worse.
It might not always seem like it, but putting down the knife will make you safer and help you to reach your full potential. Don’t let prison or serious injury stop you achieving your goals.
THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCes
If you get caught with a knife you can face a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine. That’s just for possessing a knife in a public place. If you hurt someone there will be other charges to answer and you could go to prison for longer.
Even if it’s not you who does it, if someone is injured or killed by a knife in your presence you could be sent to prison for murder or attempted murder in what is referred to as ‘joint enterprise’.
Carrying an offensive weapon, like a knife, is a serious offence and carrying it for self-protection is not a defence.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
If you get convicted for a knife crime you’ll have a criminal record. Sentences over 30 months stay on your record for life.
People with criminal records – especially for violent behaviour – find it much more difficult to find work.
They are also barred from doing some jobs altogether, like working around children, young people or the elderly, or even being a bouncer in a pub or club. Criminal records for violence also make it harder to get into college or university.
Lots of countries don’t let people in who have criminal records, like the USA, Canada and Australia – even just on holiday.
Research shows that plenty of young people believe that carrying a knife will help them to protect themselves – but in reality, many young people end up wounded or worse, by their own knives after getting into fights.
If you get convicted for a knife crime you’ll have a criminal record. Sentences over 30 months stay
on your record for life.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
Knife crime affects more than just the person carrying the knife, it can affect your family and friends too. No parent or grandparent would ever want to see their child get injured, go to prison or be killed. It will also impact on your brothers or sisters, if carrying a knife leads you to having serious injuries or losing your life.
No parent or grandparent wants to think their child or grandchild is going to have to go to prison. For many, the only nightmare that’s any worse is the thought of you getting injured or killed. Any brothers and sisters you have will be devastated at the prospect of you not being around for months or even years. They could face lots of hassles at school and on the street too – and you won’t be around to stick up for them.
IF YOU GO TO PRISON brothers, sisters AND FRIENDS will be devastated at you not being around for months or even years. They could face lots of hassle at school and on the street too – and you won’t be around to stick up for them.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT OTHERS?
Knife crime can affect anyone, not just people in gangs. Innocent bystanders can get caught in the middle of other people’s disputes and suffer trauma, serious injuries or worse.