Keeping Safe, looking at the effects of Knife Crime

Know the risks – Knife carrying puts your future in danger.

When you carry a knife, you are risking everything. Prison, being a victim of crime and even ending up in hospital are all real risks. Beyond this, knife crime has devastating personal effects on you, your friends, and your family.

While some young people pick up a knife to feel safer, they don’t realise that carrying makes them more likely to get into serious danger. A knife can escalate things way out of your control, and make a bad situation much worse.

It might not always seem like it, but putting down the knife will make you safer and help you to reach your full potential. Don’t let prison or serious injury stop you achieving your goals.

Legal consequences.

  • 1 Carrying a knife can mean four years in prison, even if you don’t use it.
  • 2 You can get a criminal record just for carrying a knife.
  • 3 Carrying an offensive weapon, like a knife, is a serious offence and carrying it for self-protection is not a defence.

Emotional consequences.

  • 1 Carrying a knife doesn’t just have an impact on you; it can affect your family and friends too.
  • 2 No parent or grandparent would ever want to see their child get injured, go to prison or be killed.
  • 3 It will also impact on your brothers or sisters, if carrying a knife leads you to having serious injuries or losing your life.

Personal consequences.

  • 1 Carry a weapon and it could be used against you.
  • 2 Employers may be less likely to employ someone with a criminal record.
  • 3 Countries such as the USA and Canada may not allow someone with a criminal record in, even just on holiday.

Other facts.

  • 1 99% of young people aged 10–29 don’t carry a knife.
  • 2 People who carry a weapon are more likely to be hospitalised with an injury caused by violence.
  • 3 There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone – any stab can be fatal – and the consequences will be just as severe.

Go Knife Free

Join millions of young people living knifefree.

99% of young people in England and Wales live knife free. And, while those that carry often claim to do it to feel safer, carrying a knife can get you into dangerous situations.

Even if you can avoid the violence, there are severe emotional, personal and legal consequences that can come from knife carrying. 

If you carry a knife, it’s never too late to make a positive change in your life. Going knife free takes courage, but the benefits are real. Join the millions of young people who live knife free.

If you’ve considered carrying a knife – or are already carrying – there are things you need to think about. While some people and places make you feel like you need to carry, it’s never worth it

How to live Knife Free

  • 1 Friends should never pressure you into doing something you don’t want to. Consider whether the people you surround yourself with are having a positive impact on your life.
  • 2 Some friends may pressure you to carry. Try and think of a way to say no before you’re put on the spot, so you’re ready – it could save your life.
  • 3 Try and stay away from situations that you know are likely to result in conflict or violence.
  • 4 Find positive activities to channel your energy and help you avoid dangerous situations. This will also help you meet others living knife free.
  • 5 The decision to pick up a knife before you leave home can make going to prison, being the victim of violence, and being hospitalised much more likely. Every time you carry, you put your whole future at risk.
  • 6 If you find yourself in a confrontation, you have a choice – pulling a knife can escalate the situation and put you in serious danger.
  • 7 Going knife free can be a brave and difficult choice – but your life will be better for it.
  • 8 Remember, it’s never too late to change your life. You are full of potential, and there are always options open to you – even if they aren’t clear in the moment.

Real stories

Real stories about real people affected by knife crime.

The consequences and dangers of knife carrying are real, but it’s never too late to make the decision to live knife free. Sean, Cameron and Meghan have bravely shared their stories. Watch the film here.

Get Help & Support

Whether you carry a knife, are thinking about carrying, or are worried about someone you know getting involved with knives – there is help and support available. It can be a tough thing to do, but these resources can help anyone join the millions of young people who live knife free.


By carrying a knife, you:

  • Have false sense of security.
  • Could be increasing the risk of getting stabbed or injured.
  • Are breaking the law.

That not carrying, and walking away from confrontation:

  • Is the smart thing to do.
  • Is the safer thing to do.
  • Is the stronger thing to do.

Ben’s Story

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