Youth Violence

Knife crime and knife carrying – what you can do!

Knife crime and knife carrying has a negative effect on all those who live, work and visit Southwark. The council and partners are committed to support all sections of the community to address this problem. Here is some brief guidance so that people can get the help they need to make Southwark a safer and better place for all.

We need to be clear about the facts:

  • Carrying a knife is illegal; this includes anything intended to be used to harm another person, like a sharpened comb
  • Possession of a knife carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years even if it's not used
  • Carrying a knife increases the risk of being injured and of other people being injured
  • Police are allowed to stop and search someone if they believe a weapon is being carried

We know that people carry knives for a variety of reasons: to appear tough or fashionable, to fit in with a group, because they feel it will make them safer, to use as a threat when committing a robbery or to actually use on other people. We know that some people who carry knives would not describe themselves as members of a gang.

We all have a role to making young people feel safer and removing knives from the streets and supporting positive choices. It is not simply a case of trying to persuade the individual to stop carrying a knife or calling the police; there are services and people to help individuals and communities face these difficult issues if they feel that they are unable to call the police.

Use the links below to find more information about what you can do!