I need help
Are you under pressure to deal drugs or carry a knife or gun? Are you already involved in a gang or crime? Are you already carrying a knife?
If so, you may feel like your life is out of control, like you're constantly looking over your shoulder and that there's no way out. You might think it'll be worse trying to get out of a gang and that you need to carry a weapon for protection. The truth is, it's more dangerous to keep going as you are. But you're here looking for help, which is a really good start and there are many organisations and charities who want to help you.
What can you do?
There's lots of help and support out there.
If you're scared for your safety talk to someone – a parent, teacher, youth worker or a police officer for example. No one wants to see you get hurt.
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 – their counsellors can support young people 24 hours a day.
The police care about young people and would always prefer to prevent crime rather than detect it as this means something has happened to someone. They never want to see a young person hurt or in trouble if it can be prevented. They will always help if someone feels threatened, frightened or they think they are at risk of harm.
What else can you do?
- Weapons – if you don't take it with you, it won't be used
- Ignore taunts or call-outs on social media.
- While walking away is often the hardest thing to do, it's the safest and won't get you into trouble with the police – staying alive to take care of your family and reach your potential has to be worth it. See the bigger picture.
- Fearless also offers advice and guidance; there is also a page where you can pass on information about crime anonymously.
- You can also visit Knife Free for advice on how to have a conversation with someone you're worried about, discover real stories about people who turned their lives around after being involved in knife crime as well as places you can go for further help and support.
- The Prince’s Trust can help provide support and opportunities for young people, particularly young people who are moving away from gangs and crime. They have helped thousands of young people.
- Always dial 999 if you are worried someone is at risk. The police are there to help and keep you safe.
What should you do if you've already injured someone?
- If you've used a weapon to injure someone you're probably feeling a mixture of different emotions: fear, guilt, anger, worry.
- You must own up. It will help if you proactively speak to the police. The level of trouble you'll be in will be far worse if you're found out later than if you do the right thing now.
- If you want to speak to the police, contact your Safer Schools Officer, your local Safer Neighborhoods Team or go to your nearest police station. If it's an emergency, call 999 now.
- You can also call Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111. (You don't need to give your name and your call won't be traced.)
Have you been the victim of knife crime?
If you've been a victim of knife or gun crime, you're probably going through a whole mixture of emotions - fear, anger, pain. Perhaps it was a random attack, or maybe you're in a gang and this was always going to happen sooner or later. Maybe you get bullied and the bullying has got a whole lot worse.
Being injured by a knife or gun is no doubt one of the worst things that has happened to you. Even being threatened with a weapon can be incredibly frightening. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help – you need support and there are lots of ways for you to speak to someone anonymously.
If the police haven't already been notified, then you or someone close to you should contact them straight away by speaking to your Safer Schools Officer, your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team, or by going to your nearest police station.
If it's an emergency, and you still feel like you're in danger you need to call 999 now.
- If you don't want to make the call to the police or report it online, perhaps speak to someone like a parent or teacher – they can make the call for you.
- You also don't have to talk to the police if you don't want to. You could call Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111. Your call will be treated in the strictest of confidence – you do not need to give your name, and your call will not be traced.
- If you've been threatened but not injured it is still a matter for the police and must be reported for your own safety.