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What if they want to carry a weapon

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Don't let them, or do everything within your power to talk them out of it. If they say all their mates carry a weapon, remind them that it's illegal and that a knife is more likely to be used against them than be of any use in self-defence.

Talk to their mates

If you're concerned that some of their friends may carry knives talk to them about your worries. Spell out the dangers and explain that you don't want to see them getting hurt, killed even. Ask them why are they carry a knife? To look big, or are they genuinely worried about their safety? If they are frightened for their safety talk to the local police about their fears.

Worried your child may carry a knife?

If you've talked to your child and they deny carrying a knife, but you're concerned they may be hiding one, then search their bedrooms says Reverend Nims, chair of the Independent Advisory Group of The Metropolitan Police's Operation Blunt initiative against knife crime. All parents need to take an active role.

If you're worried about the way your child is behaving and the people they are hanging around with, talk to them, search their bedrooms and check to make sure they don't have a knife or a gun.
After all, it may not just be your kid you're keeping out of danger, you may stop them from seriously injuring or even killing someone else. I have been with mothers whose children have been murdered. I say to any parent you should do what you can to prevent this.'

What about respect for life?

Knives kill. That's a fact. Do the children that carry knives realise how dangerous they are? So many young lives are being lost because of a split second action with a blade. Unfortunately, research shows that most children who carry a knife use it, so if you have concerns that your child may carry a knife do talk to them firmly about the dangers.

Talk to the school

If you're worried that your child's peers may carry knives, then talk to the school about your fears. They will have strict anti-knife policies in place and will be in close contact with the police if knives have been a problem.

Talk to your local police

If you're worried about knife crime in your area, do talk to the police.
Many have campaigns running to prevent knife crime and can give you advice and support. Check out the excellent film as part of the Carrying a Knife, It's Not a Game campaign from the Metropolitan Police.

Knife City starts like a typical computer-graphic children's game, but then turns to real life as a teenager gets stabbed showing the tragic consequences. Two young knife victims also tell how being stabbed devastated their lives and the parents of Luke Walmlsey, who was killed in a knife attack at his school talk about their loss on the film.

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Find it on: www.itsnotagame.org If you want to talk to someone about knife crime anonymously ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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