Understanding the laws KNIFE CRIME
It is illegal for a shop to sell any kind of knife to someone under 18. This includes kitchen knives and even cutlery. It’s also illegal for shops to sell imitation guns or air weapons to anyone under 18-years-old, or to sell realistic imitation guns to anyone. You’ll be committing an offence if you buy any of these items. Possessing a knife or firearm (whether it’s yours or not) is illegal and can result in a prison sentence. Some knives are illegal for even adults to buy. The below are all categorised as offensive weapons and are completely banned:
- Flick knives – also called ‘switchblades’ or ‘automatic knives’.
- Butterfly knives
- Disguised knives – in which the blade is hidden in something like a belt buckle or fake mobile phone. You can find out more about these and other types of illegal knives on the Gov.uk website
Carrying a weapon in school does not mean it is just a school matter; the police will become involved and take action. For anyone carrying a knife or a gun, including those under 16, the consequences are tough. It is illegal to carry a knife or a gun, or imitation firearm. If you are caught with a knife or a gun, regardless of whether you say it was for your own protection or you were carrying it for someone else, you will be arrested and prosecuted. Possession of a knife can carry a prison sentence of up to 4 years even if it’s not used. There’s a minimum 5-year sentence for carrying a gun if you’re over 18. If you’re under 18, you could still go to prison. If you stab somebody and they die, you will face a life sentence and will serve a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. Causing the death of someone with a gun carries a life sentence and you will serve a mandatory 30-year prison sentence. If someone is injured or killed by a knife or gun in your presence, even if you’re not the one using the weapon, you too could be prosecuted. You could be sent to prison for murder in what is referred to as ‘joint enterprise’
Are You Worried? GANGS
If you are reading this now, you could already be worried that your child or someone you know is being groomed or involved in criminal activities. With the increase in the movement of drugs and the money to be made instantly, more and more young people are being drawn into the lure of making vast amounts of money. Communication around this increasing trend is becoming more and more complicated leaving many parents confused at spotting the signs early.
When a young person has been recruited into the process, it can be a very challenging time. There are many signs of grooming that often go unseen and this is where the real work begins. Organised circles of drug dealers do not care about the outcomes for your child! they are simply used to fill the rising demand for drugs and weapons.
Once they are used they are often discarded and left to deal with the consequences alone. There are countless cases of young people ending up in debt because of their involvement with these groups. The prisons are filling up with young people that believed that they were part of a friendship or even an intimate relationship.
Criminal Record THE IMPACT
Having a criminal record can be daunting, but not the end of the world. understanding the limitations of having a criminal record is more important as so many young people lack knowledge or advice about how their criminal activities can impact on their lives. Fair enough you can still get a job , even though it may be more difficult to obtain, You still have most of your rights as a citizen, you may even go onto be successful in the career you choose. The purpose here is to inform you of the limitations that naturally occur once you are have a criminal record.
The fact is serving time in prison or having a criminal record will undoubtably have a massive impact on the way you live your life. We could even go as far as saying most people that serve a sentence or have a non custodial criminal record, go on to be upstanding members of their communities. But the fact is that’s just is not the case! A criminal record is something that is not looked lightly, many employers will ask for a full disclosure before even looking at an interview. This means that you will have to tell them about all of your convictions, even the ones that you think are spent! The Criminal justice system is very complex and has many different aspects to it, most notably the sentencing handed out for specific crimes. There is a lot of speculation by young people that spending time in prison does not affect the rest of their lives.
Responding to concerns about county lines exploitation
If you’re worried that a child or young person might be or is at risk of being exploited by a county lines gang, you must share your concerns.
If you think a child is in immediate danger, contact the police on 999. If you’re worried about a child but they are not in immediate danger, you should share your concerns.
If you require advice or general information please get in touch
Youth Unity work in strict confidence to offer impartial advice and signpost