Knife crime can lead to yourself or someone else being seriously injured or even killed. However, the effects of knife crime can be far more widespread. Someone doesn’t even have to be injured!
Getting caught or committing a serious crime
You can receive a four-year prison sentence just for carrying a weapon, and that’s without even intending to use it.
You can receive a permanent criminal record, and if you hurt someone you could go to prison for even longer.
Carrying a knife for protection is not a valid reason for the police. It actually means you’re 51 per cent more likely to have it used against you.
There’s no safe place to get stabbed. If you get stabbed in the heart, you can lose all of your blood in one minute. A wound in the arm or the leg can still kill, and people have died from wounds to the leg because of severed arteries.
Knife crime isn’t just life or death, you could be seriously injured as a result of being stabbed. This may mean you have a life changing disability or it could impact how you live the rest of your life.
Knife crime can have a negative mental impact. You don’t have to be involved in a specific incident to be affected, from feeling on edge when you’re out to suffering long-term trauma.
The people you care about
It doesn’t matter if you are a victim or the offender, your loved ones are always going to be affected as a result of knife crime.
Loss is loss, and many families are devastated by losing someone they love whether that’s because they can’t see you because you’re in prison or they have lost you completely through murder.
Your brothers and sisters will grow up without you being around and may face lots of questions at school. They may even be influenced by your actions, and follow in your footsteps.
Knife crime damages friendships and can damage your family’s reputation with their friends and the local community.
Having a criminal record can even affect your social life. Many countries such as the USA and Australia are really strict about who they let in, even just for a holiday.
Your record may mean you might never be able to live or visit there.
A criminal record is permanent. When you apply for jobs and on many applications, you will always need to declare if you have a criminal record.
You will always have to declare your criminal record and complete enhanced DBS checks when applying for jobs in education, banks, armed forces, travel. If you want to get a taxi license or private vehicle hire license, you will have to declare your criminal record.
It will make it harder for you to get into college or university, and might mean you won’t be able to go to the one you always wanted. This makes it much harder to find work, and it may affect your future career goals
Some jobs don’t allow having a criminal record at all and will refuse your application.
An ex-gang member’s message to YOU
Omar Sharif was just 13 years old when he started carrying a knife, he joined a gang and they became his new ‘family’
When his friend Jevonne was stabbed and killed, he knew things had to change. He left London and moved to Coventry to get away from the gang and turn his life around.
He knows it’s not easy to leave a gang and change your friends, but he learnt the hard way that when you need them most – your gang’s not really there for you.