It can be extremely worrying to think that your child is involved in something as dangerous as knife or gun crime. They may not be carrying a weapon themselves, but are associated with people who are. The natural reaction is to panic – but this won't resolve the situation and could push your child away.
What you can do
Learn about the law:
- Carrying a knife or a gun is illegal.
- Police are legally allowed to use their powers to stop and search someone if they believe a weapon is being carried.
- Having a criminal record could stop your child gaining entry into a university, getting a job, and could even place restrictions on them travelling to some countries.
Make your child aware of the consequences:
- Carrying a weapon increases the risk of them being injured themselves.
- They could go to jail for up to 4 years if they're found in possession of a knife or 5 years for a gun, even if they're carrying it for someone else.
- In a worst case scenario, they could end up using the weapon and seriously hurting someone.
Talk to the parents of your child's friends:
- If you're worried, parents of your child’s friends probably are too. They may see your child in different places, hanging out with different friends and could help you get a better understanding of the situation.
- By working together, you could raise awareness of the issue.
Services and support for young people and families in Islington
There are lots of local youth services that offer positive activities for young people to get involved in, in a safe and supportive environment.
Islington FIS (Family Information Service) is a free information and advice service for families with children and young people aged between 0-25. The service can provide you with information about: childcare, things to do, after-school clubs, services for disabled children, youth clubs and adventure play, health, family support services, tax credits, and any other issues relating to family life. You can contact them via:
Islington also offers a range of parenting programmes and courses for parents to be and parents and carers with children aged 0-19 who either live in Islington or have children attending Islington schools. For more information visit our directory.