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Protect yourself and others from knife crime

Knife crime is a high profile topic, with cases reported online and in the news regularly.

Many of these incidents have involved young people, and you could be forgiven for thinking that carrying a knife is now the norm. Thankfully that is not the case – in reality 99 per cent of young people do not carry knives, and the cases you read about are usually isolated incidents between people who know each other.

However knife crime is a real concern within many communities and it may be something that affects you directly, or something you are worried about.

Working with young people

We take knife crime extremely seriously and are working with education and intervention organisations across the Avon and Somerset area to highlight the impact it has on communities.

Working alongside young people, we launched our ‘Knife crime: A new way forward’ campaign to help educate people to stay away from knife crime.

As part of this campaign, young people from local schools produced short videos exploring the impact of knife crime:

  • Lifeb4Likes – Merchants Academy – this video explores the dangerous world of putting social media popularity before another human’s life.
  • Eye for an Eye – Taunton Academy – this video explores how bullying can make a victim want to get revenge. However the philosophy of an eye for an eye only makes the world blind.
  • Speak Up – Broadoak Academy – this video explores the guilt suffered by a friend who wanted to tell someone about his friend carrying a knife, but didn’t.
  • The Cycle – Bristol Futures Academy – this video explores the retaliatory nature of knife crime and calls for all agencies in Bristol to come together to help break this cycle.

Listening to young people to understand their concerns

The young people involved in the animation project have also produced a short documentary addressing the issues they feel are driving youth violence and exploring potential solutions.

Watch ‘Knife crime: A new way forward’ to find out more:

Educating young people

We have partnered with the NHS to run programmes to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime and the impact it can have on them and those around them. Projects include:

Blunt Truth (Years 7 – 9)

Blunt Truth is a collaboration between Avon and Somerset Police and the NHS. The objective of the hour-long workshop, delivered in schools, is to encourage young people to report through their school, the police or through FEARLESS (youth arm of Crimestoppers) if someone they know is carrying a knife. The ultimate aim of the workshop is to prevent assaults using knives from taking place because of the increased reporting of knife carrying.

Young people are shown a film which shows the different outcomes should they do the ‘right thing’ and report their concerns that someone they know is carrying a knife. They also see the tragic consequences of not reporting play out.

NHS doctors and ambulance staff discuss with the young people the dangers of knife crime from a health perspective. They also learn practical first aid skills on how to deal with a knife wound.

The workshops started in 2021 and continue to be rolled out in a number of secondary schools across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Insights – Young Detectives Programme (Years 9 – 10)

The Young Detectives programme is a five day fully immersive experience, giving young people the opportunity to spend a week as a detective, in partnership with the NHS.

The students start their week being sworn in as detectives and work with a Senior Investigating Officer to investigate a fictitious stabbing.

During the week, the students will:

  • visit the ‘crime scene’ and receive input from Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) around the importance of forensics
  • visit Southmead Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department to witness first-hand how a trauma team receive and treat a knife crime victim / casualty
  • obtain victim and witness statements
  • interview suspects
  • present their case to a crown court judge in a mock courtroom at UWE Bristol

The week ends with a celebration and discussion about what they have learned.

The course also includes a very powerful and emotional talk from a real knife crime victim, to enable to the students to fully the impact knife crime has on real people.

We work with schools across Avon and Somerset to select young people from years 9 and 10 who would most benefit from the programme.

This is usually students who are on the periphery of going down the wrong path and who need support to make better choices.

Programmes have been running throughout 2021 and into 2022.

Report knife crimes

Concerned about someone carrying a knife?

If you are worried about someone you know carrying a knife, help and guidance is available:

  • Fearless.org is a service that allows you to pass on information about crime 100% anonymously.
  • Crimestoppers is an independent charity that enables you to report crime anonymously.
  • If you are aware someone is carrying a knife or offensive weapon, report it to us online.

Do you carry a knife and want help to stop?

Perhaps you already carry a knife or you are worried about being pressured into carrying one?

Either way you have the power to control your future and there are people who can help you:

  • Childline offer advice to help you avoid giving in to peer pressure or if you are feeling worried or scared by knife crime.

Surrendering a knife to the police

If you have unwanted knives that you would like to dispose of safely, you can anonymously place them in our knife surrender bins which are located outside the front of the building at the following sites:

Permanent knife surrender bins are also located at:

  • Bristol Crown Court
  • Bristol Magistrates’ Court
  • Castle Park, Bristol City Centre (near the church grounds opposite entrance to The Galleries)
  • The Park Centre, Daventry Road, Knowle, BS4 1DQ

If you think your community would benefit from a knife surrender bin, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

When surrendering a knife or offensive weapon:

  • make sure items are wrapped in something such as a towel and carried in a bag to prevent injury
  • consider going in daylight and during office hours when sites are staffed
  • make a specific journey rather than carry an item for longer than necessary
  • check opening hours before taking any large items such as swords, as these will not fit into the surrender bins

Immediate danger

Call 999 straight away if there is an ongoing incident involving a knife or offensive weapon.

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