Parent, Grandparents and extended Family Members...you can play a vital role in stopping 'Knife Crime' becoming a part of your young people's lives. Knowing the Law and talking to your child about the dangers can help keep them safe. Keep a look out! Sometimes there might be obvious reasons for you to think your child may be carrying a knife...such as a knife going missing from the kitchen! Even if you live in a leafy suburb 'fear of crime' can still effect young people...it is paramount that as they grow and mature into young adults they understand how to 'stay safe' when they travel to large towns, cities or even Abroad. When on social nights out with friends...alcohol intake and other factors can cause a perfectly enjoyable evening to spill into violence and anti-social situations. There's lots more information to be uploaded on this page soon...including a new Text Messaging service for all concerned parents to make contact and receive advice.
Many Parents are very concerned about their children's 'safety'...at School, at play and when going out socially. Media attention has raised the awareness to the issues surrounding 'Knives', but it is up to us to do something about the mind-set and future understanding about 'keeping safe'...to arm our young people correctly, with the right information to help them make the right choices!
Talk to your Child about Knives! - Download Information leaflet - click here
SOME USEFUL ADVICE TO DISCUSS...when speaking to you child about Safety:-
1) Being confronted by somebody armed with a knife...WALK AWAY, and ensure there's plenty of distance!
2) NEVER...think that you can talk to the person carrying a weapon to persuade them not to use it!
3) NEVER...believe you can reason or negotiate...walk away and report it to someone!
4) ALWAYS...report someone you 'know' or 'suspect' is carrying a knife! It could save a life...tell a trusted adult, parent, teacher or anonymously to Crimestoppers.
5) IT IS ILLEGAL to carry a 'knife'...so the advice is NEVER be tempted to carry one even if you think you need it!
6) If your child is being bullied or feeling threatened by someone they think is carrying a knife...NEVER be tempted to carry even in the belief it will protect them...most children who carry knives, say it because they are scared. This is NOT a good option! Try to avoid situations and/or people that scare or bully...and REPORT IT!
What should I tell my child about Knife Crime?...This can be a tricky conversation, but here's more handy points you can raise with your child: www.2smart.co.uk/knives/parents.htm
All kinds of Parent Groups and Clubs are now seeing the benefit of holding a 'Parents Safety Awareness' Event...there's plenty of information on the link below. Or you can write to ann@KnifeCrimes.org for ideas about holding an event, as well as tailoring the information at the event to accommodate bringing children. Ask about resources to help you organise a 'Safety Event'.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN...Official launch of Campaign Toolkits and information:
THE BEHAVIOURAL RESOURCE FOR PARENTS/TEACHERS...helping to make young people think through the effect and consequences of their actions and choose to improve their own behaviour: www.behaviouronline.com
Ensure you Child is Safe on the Internet by being aware...here you will find all you need to know on the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre Website - www.ceop.gov.uk
There's lots more information on the 'Children & Young People' Section (of this website)...to help engage young people in all aspects that will effect their future lives. Much of the information contained on this resource will also be of interest to parents and teachers. We really recommend you look at 'The Honesty Lab' a really great way to engage the rest of the family with views on 'What is dishonest, dishonourable and immoral behaviour'...it is fun and a real way to 'Have Your Say' on this amazing issue!
GANGS...ADVICE TO PARENTS - Why do Young People join Gangs? A 'gang' can be summarised as a group who see themselves and are seen by others as a 'gang'...and for whom crime and violence are a central part of their activities. Children and Young People face all sorts of pressure to follow friends, who may have been recruited by a gang! You can help your child make the right choice. If there is one person that your son or daughter will listen to...it's you!
Many young people will not recognise themselves as being in a 'gang'...but in a group! However, most groups of friends do not commit crime. Being in a gang is not illegal...only the criminal offences committed that are illegal! The reality is that being in a gang puts your child more at risk of offending, using or dealing drugs or ending up in prison or worse...becoming a victim of violence and possibly an early death. The 'respect' they feel they are given is only an illusion. Often images on the TV, in the movies and the media tend to glorify drugs, sex and violence as an acceptable lifestyle. They don't always show the truth about gangs...nor, the destruction they can cause.
WHAT YOU CAN DO...There are things you can do to help prevent your child from being involved in the first place. Have open discussions with your child and see what he/she thinks about 'gangs'. Involve youself in your child's life in a positive way:
1) Talk to you child - keep reminding him/her that they can raise any issues of concern with you.
2) Acknowledge you child's achievements.
3) Help your child to understand that success require effort.
4) Get involved in your chil's school activities, if you can spare time.
5) Encourange your child to take part in positive after school activities.
6) Know your child's friends and their families.
HELP YOUR CHILD LEAD A POSITIVE LIFE:
1) Be a positive role model; remember children learn from what they see and experience.
2) Teach them how to cope with peer pressure...how to deal with conflicts without the use of violence.
3) Talk about the danger and consequences of 'gang' involvement.
4) Teach them that 'rights' come with 'responsibilities'.
5) Set limits and boundaries.
6) Stick to your rules...avoid appearance of double standards.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS...Whilst there are currently no laws banning 'gang' membership, the Law does focus on criminal behaviour. For more information about the Law - visit: www.direct.gov.uk/gangs
E. & O.E.