You may be concerned that your child, or a child you know, is undergoing some behavioural changes and may be involved in drugs or knife crime.
Common warning signals may indicate that a young person is involved in something that could cause them harm are:
They have become withdrawn from family and school.
There is a change in their behaviour… they may be skipping school or their behaviour may have deteriorated.
They have lost interest in hobbies and old friends and are now hanging around with a new group and staying out late.
They’re vague about where they are going or where they have been.
They’ve become secretive and defensive, particularly about what’s in their bag. They might even have told you that they need to carry a knife for protection.
They have taken kitchen knives from home, hiding them in their bag or coat.
If this sounds like your child, please talk to them. Some young people carry a knife because they feel worried, so it’s really important you tackle the reasons for choosing to carry a knife together and reassure them that help is out there and carrying a knife is not the answer. You should also make them aware of the risks and consequences of carrying a knife.
Pick a place and a time where you can comfortably chat together. They might be reluctant to talk to you, so it might help to start by watching a relevant video or news article, ask them what they think to get the conversation going. Ask them if they understand what knife crime is about. Be patient, get them talking, reassure them that they can be honest with you about their fears and worries. You are there to listen and support them.