Carrying a blade is an extremely serious offence, and you will be arrested if you are caught with a knife or any other bladed article. If you’ve been caught carrying a blade on more than one occasion and have previous convictions, then officers will pursue a charge. If you are convicted in court, you will end up with a criminal record.
If you have found yourself in a situation where you have carried a knife, it doesn’t mean that you can’t stop. It’s never too late to make a make that change and seek help.
There are a number of ways Cleveland Police can help you, and many organisations and charities you can talk to.
The Youth Offending Team
Just because you have been stopped by police, or even arrested, it doesn’t mean that they can’t help you. Police officers are here to uphold and enforce the law, which they will if you are caught with a knife. However, police officers are also here to offer support and guidance to help you get back on track.
If you want help getting away from knife crime, violence or drugs, let an officer know. They can refer you to the Youth Offending Team (YOT). Officers in the team will take some time with you to talk about your background and what has led you to this point. They will talk at length about the consequences of carrying a knife, the harm it can cause to others and the hurt and worry this can cause to family and friends. The team will work with you to find ways to move away from those who may have influenced, encouraged or coerced you to get involved in criminal behaviour.
The team will also engage with other agencies to work with any mental health issues, and to build self-esteem and confidence to take steps away from crime.
PC Tracey Stage tells us how the Youth Offending Team can help you below:
Early Intervention Team
Parents or carers who have concerns that their children may be at risk of carrying a knife can contact Police and ask for a referral to the Early Intervention Team.
57 young people believed to be a risk of becoming involved in knife crime, or carrying a knife, were referred to Cleveland Police’s Early Intervention Team in 2022, and none of those young people went on to reoffend or participate in any offence related to a bladed article.
Last year, the team also contributed to cutting youth reoffending rates from an already impressive 19% in 2021, to just 8.25% in 2022, compared with the national average of 34.2%.
The Early Intervention Team completed 1,137 interventions in 2022, and improved partnership working with schools and agencies led to increased external referrals from 25% to 43%. This is all possible by developing and maintaining great understanding relationships with partner organisations.
Call 101 and ask to speak to the Early Intervention Team.
As part of a pilot introduced by the Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence, four custody navigators have been introduced in Cleveland Police’s custody suite.
In the first full week of the programme alone, Cleveland’s four custody navigators worked with 24 young people
They will reach out to people involved in, or at risk of, serious violence detained in police custody, who have already entered the criminal justice system.
By adopting a trauma-informed approach, navigators will work with and support those who are ready to move away from a life of violence and crime.
After engaging with detainees and identifying their needs, navigators will agree a bespoke package of help and signpost participants to further support.
The package aims to address the underlying reasons for participants becoming involved in serious violence. Those reasons could include issues with drink, drugs or mental health.
Recognising that many detainees – and those at risk of violence – lead chaotic lives, navigators will mentor participants and check that they continue to engage with services, as agreed.
It’s a moment when detainees have a chance to reflect on their lives – and if they want to change things.
The pilot scene enhances the work already being carried out by Cleveland’s Youth Justice Services (YJS.)
YJS’ work includes the Turnaround project. It aims to achieve positive outcomes for children, aged 10 to 18, with the objective of preventing them from re-offending.