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
Islington Council, alongside partners at the Metropolitan Police and the Ben Kinsella Trust, have created guidance for parents and carers to help you talk to your child or any young person about the risks of carrying knives. The guidance has been written with the help of parents affected by knife harm.
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.
If you are worried about the safety of a child or young person, contact the Children’s Services Contact Team on 0207 527 7400 (available 24 hours per day)
Information on how to report crime:
999 needs to be used in an emergency, 101 at other times.
Crime Stoppers can be used to report crime anonymously. You can call 0800 555 111 or use the online form.
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.