Children's education charity, Life Skills Education, is calling on parents to look out for signs when children need safeguarding, following Operation Sceptre.
The operation, which took place last week, is a week-long intensive campaign to tackle knife crime and raise awareness around the impact of carrying knives.
During the nationwide campaign, shocking reports from Northumbria Police revealed that 470 knives were recovered and 141 people were arrested. Knife amnesty bins were also rolled out across the country – with 231 knives deposited at drop off points in the West Midlands.
Other areas such as Oxfordshire, Manchester and the East Midlands also reported that a successful week of action took place, as knives were recovered, and school visits and educational events were held by local police forces.
Young people have both been the victim and perpetrators in knife crime incidents – with the number of knife-related deaths in England and Wales being in the highest on record in 76 years1 and in 2018 there were more than 5,800 recorded knife possession crimes involving women and girls2 as they are less likely to be searched and caught with a weapon.
Feeling the need for protection, or being part of a gang, which uses weapons, can be enough to make a young person carry a knife. Even if you don’t hold a knife yourself, being with someone who is carrying one, can be enough to get hurt or be in trouble with the police.
Stuart Longcroft, director at Life Skills Education, said: “The core of our work is getting children to realise the risks to themselves and others, around their physical and emotional health, however there are also signs that parents can spot to safeguard their children.
“Anytime your child’s behaviour or personality changes drastically, over a short period of time, or maybe they’ve begun socialising with other crowds, it's important to try and find out the cause. As a parent its vital that young people are aware, know how to deal with risks, understand the consequences and able to make informed decisions.
“Providing facts and information about knives and knife crime can enable young people to make positive choices about risky behaviour, increase their knowledge and awareness of the law around knives.
“We encourage parents to engage with the advice and resources on our website, to ensure they are aware of what they can do to help keep their children safe.”
Life Skills Education has also launched a campaign in a bid to stop a child harming themselves or others mentally or physically through the abuse of drugs, alcohol, knives or engaging in hate crimes.
The charity has set a target to work with over 400 partner organisations and 20,000 young people, every year, to make a difference, create safer spaces and providing young people with access to the tools to be safer and happier. For those who wish to donate and help Life Skills Education reach its goal, visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/want-to-stop-young-people-making-harmful-choices
To find out more about Life Skills Education, or to access resources, please visit: https://lifeskillseducation.co.uk or follow them on social media @lifeskillsct