Why are some many young people carrying knifes?
Figures release today show that knife crime is up by 9% across the country and 16% in London alone. In whats been a tragic year in the capital we have seen 10 teenagers murdered by knifes. What is even more depressing is 60% of those caught with a knife are under 25.
So why do so many young people feel that carrying a knife affords them protection or safety, when in reality is brings them closer to being seriously injured, imprisoned or dead? These are the only three likely long term outcomes if you persist in carrying a knife.
Not enough is being done to help young people to understand the dangers and the high cost of carrying a knife . They collect information from older young people and siblings, myths are created about being safer, protected when you carry a knife.
In our workshops we see children as young as 11 say that carrying a knife can keep you safe. This is why educating children and young people about the realities, consequences and dangers of carrying a knife is vital. Helping them learn in their peer groups to recognise and avoid conflict and resolve differences without the need to resort to violence.
Our experience shows that if you give young people the facts and show them alternative strategies to staying safe, they are receptive and change their behaviour. So far 6000 young people who visited Ben's exhibition have pledged not to carry a knife. While tackling knife crime is complex, it must start with educating all young people about how to stay safe.