Knife Crime and Community Harm

Covid-19 Pandemic Update 

Most services are available whilst respecting social distancing guidance. Support and advice is available by phone, email and via web-chat. In the case of emergencies please call 999.

If you are looking for positive activity to pursue during these challenging times click here.

All types of violence and exploitation have a negative effect on all those who live, work and visit Southwark. The Council and partners are committed to supporting all sections of the community to address these issues. We want to provide information to give brief guidance so that people can get the help they need to make Southwark a safer and better place for all.

Some young and vulnerable people can be get caught up in developing forms of criminal and financial exploitation. Examples of this include “County Lines” which is when drug gangs expand their operations to other areas, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to deliver and sell drugs.

“Squares” or “Deets and Squares” is a form of money laundering where the proceeds of criminal activity is channelled through an often vulnerable person’s bank account. Often the payment that they receive is subsequently described as a loan and used as a lever to make them transport drugs.


Where to get help

  • Parents and carers can speak to the Youth Offending Service (YOS) on 020 7525 0900 if they are concerned that their child is “at risk of offending”. A member of the YOS team will be able to discuss the level of support that can be offered on a voluntary basis or suggest referral to other support services.
  • If there is a crime being committed or someone is in immediate danger people should call 999. If they have some information about a crime we would ask that they call the police on 101. Further information is available here.
  • If people have a knife that they want to surrender safely there are bins at the following sites:

            - Sainsbury's Dulwich, 80 Dog Kennel Hill SE22 8BB
            - Latter Rain Outpouring Revival Church, 50 Copleston Road SE15 4AD
           These are operated by the charity Word4Weapons. 
            - Another knife bin is located at Walworth Police Station, 12-28 Manor Place, 
              Walworth, London SE17 3BB

            Information on safely depositing knives can be found here.

  • If people feel unable to report crimes to the police directly they can make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Parents and carers can make a difference by talking through the issues with their children. Click here for guidance about how to approach this issue.
  • If as a parent you need further confidential support to deal with these issues you can call Family Lives (formerly ParentLine) on 0808 800 2222.
  • We know that incidents can lead to feelings and stress that are difficult to cope with; you can contact your GP or the NHS on 111. Click here for more information about accessing NHS services. You can also contact Victim Support on 020 7277 1433.
  • If you have concerns for the welfare or safety of a child at risk from knife crime, violence or exploitation you can make a referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 7525 1921, or email mash@southwark.gov.uk. The MASH consists of the council and partners who will assess the risk and work out the best way to keep the child safe.
  • Other services which can provide help and advice are listed in the attached document.