On July 26th, two 14-year-old boys were found guilty of the murder of Olly Stephens (13) in Reading, Berkshire, in January. A 14-year-old girl who was also involved in the crime was found guilty of manslaughter. All three are now awaiting sentencing. They murdered Olly because they had a grievance with him.

In the same week in two separate incidents in east London, 4 young men were stabbed, and in south London earlier in the month, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death. The perpetrators, in this case, are aged between 14 and 17.

These, and many other similar incidents highlight the continuing problem of young people becoming involved in weapon-related crime, and in some cases, their ages are frightening. The London Evening Standard newspaper reported the case of a seven-year-old boy who took a knife into his London primary school in June because he said he “wanted to stab another boy at an after-school club”. Teachers became aware of the boy brandishing a large kitchen knife and confiscated it.

There are many misguided reasons why young people carry knives, and their lack of understanding of the consequences of carrying a weapon is equally disturbing which possibly contributes to an apparent perception that it’s okay to do so.

You may have concerns about your children potentially becoming involved with weapons or weapon-related incidents but may find it difficult to know how to discuss the subject with them. If so, or if you simply want some more information to broaden your own understanding of the issues, there are many organisations actively working to address knife crime problems. As such, lots of resources are available online for both schools and parents by just entering ‘knife crime information’ into your chosen search engine as a starting point.

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