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, 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 of knife crime.
Working alongside young people, we launched our ‘Knife crime: A new way forward’ campaign to help educate young people to stay away from knife crime.
As part of this campaign, young people from local schools produced short videos which explored 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 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 partnership project with the NHS which aims to encourage young people to report to the police, either directly or through Crimestoppers, if they suspect that someone they know is carrying a knife.
Police and NHS staff deliver interactive workshops in secondary schools, showing a series of films and seeing different outcomes should they do the ‘right thing’ and report their concerns that someone they know is carrying a knife.
Young people also learn practical first aid skills on how to deal with a knife wound.
The workshops are aimed at years 7 – 9, piloting initially in Bristol in April / May 2021 if the Coronavirus pandemic allows, and then if successful rolling out to more schools across the Avon and Somerset Force area.
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.
We had planned to run two programmes in July and September 2020 but due to the Coronavirus pandemic these have been delayed until 2021.
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:
- The #knifefree website provides information about helping young people go knife free.
- 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 many people who can help you:
Surrendering a knife to the police
If you have unwanted knives that you would like to dispose of safely, you can take them to the front office of any police station.
Alternatively, we have a number of surrender bins which are permanently located outside the front of the building at the following sites:
Call 999 straight away if there is an ongoing incident involving a knife or offensive weapon.