Top ten tips

  1. Getting caught with a knife can mean a prison sentence of up to 5 years - even if it's not used.
  2. Some young people carry knives to protect themselves and 'keep safe'. But if you carry a knife you are much more likely to use it and to get stabbed yourself.
  3. If someone is injured or killed by a knife in your presence you could be prosecuted even if it's not you who uses it. You could be sent to prison for murder in what is referred to as 'joint enterprise'.
  4. There is no 'safe place' to stab someone. A wound in the arm or the leg can still be life threatening. Young people have died from wounds to the leg because an artery was severed.
  5. If you have a criminal record you might not be accepted into a college or university, get a job, or travel to some countries, like the USA, Canada or Australia.
  6. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and increases the chances of taking a risk. In Scotland, alcohol is a factor in 80% of weapons related injuries.
  7. Knife crime can affect anyone, not just people in gangs. Innocent bystanders can get caught in the middle of other people's disputes and suffer trauma, serious injuries or worse.
  8. Police can - and do - stop and search anyone they think is carrying a weapon.
  9. It's illegal for shops to sell knives to anyone under 18 and buying a knife under the age of 18 is an offence. This includes kitchen knives and even cutlery.
  10. The legal definition of an offensive weapon includes anything intended to be used to harm another person, like a sharpened comb. It's also illegal to carry a 'disguised knife' - anything with a concealed blade or sharp point that's made to look like an everyday object (like a pen, cigarette lighter or lipstick).
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