Knife Crime and Serious Youth Violence

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.

Every London borough is required to have a proactive plan for tackling knife crime and serious youth violence. More information about Southwark's Knife Crime and Serious Violence Action Plan can be found here.

We need to be clear about the facts:

  • Carrying anything intended to be used to harm another person is illegal, including knives and other weapons such as 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 all have a role to play in making young people feel safer and removing knives from the streets and supporting positive choices.

What you can do

If there is a crime in progress or someone is in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.

If you have information about a crime you can call the police on 101. If you feel unable to speak to the police, you can make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or to

You can take action to help the community by reporting concerns about issues in your area to the Southwark Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (SASBU) on 020 7525 7777 or

If you are concerned that your child is at risk of offending, you can speak to the Youth Offending Service (YOS) on 020 7525 0900.

If as a parent you need further confidential support to deal with these issues you can call Family Lives on 0808 800 2222. Young people can call Childline on 0800 1111.

If you have specific concerns for the welfare or safety of a child affected by these issues you can make a referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 7525 1921 or