Put simply, knife crime is a crime that involves a knife.
Knife crime includes:
- carrying a knife
- trying to buy a knife if you are under 18
- threatening someone with a knife
- owning a banned knife
- injuring or fatally wounding somebody with a knife
- intent to injure or harm somebody with a knife
- a robbery or burglary where a knife was carried as a weapon
What’s the law?
For simply carrying a knife in a public place or on school premises, the maximum penalty if convicted is four years in prison. Those found on more than one occasion to be in possession of a knife face a minimum sentence of six months.
For offences when a knife is used on another person or in the commission of a crime (i.e. street robbery), the punishments become even more life-changing.
Using a knife or another bladed instrument, depending on the circumstances and nature of injuries caused, can lead to offenders being charged with a range of offences, from assault to Section 18 Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) with intent, from attempted murder to manslaughter and ultimately murder.
Such offences can lead to many years in prison. While committing murder carries a mandatory life sentences, offenders can also be sentenced to life in jail for committing a Section 18 GBH offence.
If someone is injured or killed by a knife while you are present you too could be prosecuted. You could potentially be sent to prison for murder in a ‘joint enterprise’.
You matter, lives can change #LivesNotKnives
Within Leicester, May 2019 saw 237 reported incidents involving a knife or bladed instrument which was an increase of 30 from the previous month.
Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of abuse and occurs when an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual activity. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from seemingly consensual relationships to serious gang and group exploitation.
Our staff are aware that sexual exploitation can take many forms and that pupils may not exhibit external signs of abuse. Our staff are also aware that it is an offence carrying a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment where an adult (any adult) intentionally communicates (for example, by email, text message, written note or orally) with a child under 16 (whom the adult does not reasonably believe to be aged 16 or over) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification. This act forms part of Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (offence of Sexual Communication with a Child) and came into force on 3 April 2017.
Therefore, our staff are vigilant for the less obvious signs, such as lots of new electronic equipment, when before there was none, seeming to have extra money to spend, moving away from established friendship groups, and the use of language appropriate/inappropriate for the child’s age. Our staff are also aware of some of the signs and symptoms of CSE through LSCB Leaflets (https://www.lcitylscb.org/safeguarding–leaflets/), staff induction and as part of our annual Whole School Safeguarding Training.
Our staff follow guidance and procedures as outlined in ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People from
Sexual Exploitation in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’ available on the LSCB website (Safeguarding Children and Young People from Child Sexual Exploitation (proceduresonline.com). Child Sexual Exploitation disclosures will be reported immediately to the Removing Barriers Team or directly to Duty & Advice (0116 454 1004).
Child sexual exploitation can occur in different ways and in different situations. Many young people are ‘groomed’ by their abuser, online or face-to-face. Grooming is an action deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the intention of sexually abusing them.
Serious Violence, Gang Violence and Youth Crime
A gang is group of individuals that spends time in public and engages in criminal activity and violence. The group may also be territorial or in conflict with other gangs. Young people involved in gangs have an increased risk of experiencing violence and other types of abuse including sexual exploitation. Gang crime and serious youth violence is also often synonymous with knife crime and other serious violence.
Most young people and education establishments will not be affected by serious violence or gangs. However, where these problems do occur there will almost certainly be a significant impact.
Gangs specifically target children who have been excluded from school to groom them as drug dealers in towns across the UK. Exclusion from school appears to be a highly significant trigger point for the escalation of County Lines involvement for children who might be on the fringes of such activity or who are easily manipulated.