Knife crime and gun crime
Are you getting pressure from your friends to carry a weapon?
If you find yourself involved in a gang and your friends already carry knives or guns, maybe you're under pressure to do so as well. You probably feel your life is already spiralling out of control. But you're here looking for help and that's a good start.
Your friends might tell you that you'll be respected or even feared for carrying a weapon. Maybe they say you'll need it for protection. But all it really does is put you and your friends in greater danger.
Perhaps there's more to it than that - maybe you feel threatened by your friends and feel you need to carry a weapon for your own protection. What could be happening is that you're being bullied into doing something you don't want to do. If this is the case, try reading our section on bullying for more help and advice including Get the facts and Are you being bullied?.
What can you do?
The advice is clear - don't give in to them - don't carry a weapon:
- If you don't take it with you, it won't be used.
- Whilst walking away is often the hardest thing to do, it is the safest and won't get you into trouble with the police.
There is lots of help and support out there. If you don't feel as though you can talk to your parents, a teacher or the police, then talk to a professional in confidence. ChildLine could be your first call on 0800 1111.
If things are getting bad and people are getting hurt you should report it, even if you know your friends might get into trouble. It is better that they get into trouble now than for you or them to get more involved and end up seriously injured or even killed.
- You could speak to your Safer Schools Officer or Safer Neighbourhoods Team. If it's an emergency call 999. Find the best way to contact us here.
- If you feel unable to talk to the police, you could contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111. (You don't have to give your name and your call will not be traced.)