If you know someone who is carrying a knife don't keep silent. Report it. Call Lancashire Constabulary on 101 or report knife crime anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers who can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Some people think carrying a knife protects you. What they don't realise is carrying a knife doesn't protect you. If you carry a knife and you get into a fight you might be tempted to use your knife. You may have never intended using it, but before you know it you've stabbed someone or your knife has been used against you.
Knives and the law
Just by carrying a knife you could end up in court. It is illegal to carry a knife, even if it belongs to somebody else and if you are caught you will be arrested.
Anyone who is carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon – even in self-defence can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to 4 years.
The police can search anyone they suspect of carrying a knife.
Some people say that they carry a knife for protection or to make them feel safer, even though they wouldn’t think of using it. However, research has shown that you’re actually more likely to become a victim of crime if you carry a knife.
The maximum prison sentence for carrying a knife is four years, but if you use the knife in a crime or to injure someone the penalties are a lot worse. Under 'joint enterprise' rules, prosecutors also have the power to bring before the courts people who were present when a crime was committed so that all face the same serious charges.
Don't be a victim
If you feel you are in immediate danger from knife crime there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Move away from the situation towards a public place (shop, house, restaurant etc.) as quickly as possible.
- Make as much noise as you can.
- Instead of carrying a knife, carry a personal alarm.
- Don't fight back.
Does your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or someone in your family carry a knife?
If you have an argument could they turn it on you? If you are frightened that someone you know may harm you with a blade or you are being hurt by someone you love and don't know what to do, there are lots of people and organisations that want to help and can help you.
Do you carry a knife? Do you worry that you may hurt someone with it, even though you love them? Are you hurting someone you are in a relationship with or someone in your family?
You can get help by using the respect website. Respect UK gives really important information and advice for anyone who wants to stop hurting the people they love.