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Choose Life. Drop the Knife.

people on average a month are injured in knife attacks in London.


Who's Poking Who?

Have you ever thought why you or other people carry a knife? Fear, a status thing, fashion - or for protection?

A lot of young people say carrying a knife is for protection, but how does a knife actually PROTECT you? Does it put up a force-field, or make you invincible?

Protecting yourself or somebody else should be a good thing, but if you carry a knife is it about protecting yourself, or harming somebody else?

Think about it, was any weapon ever made for good intentions?

If everybody carries a knife
- who's poking who?

Victims of serious youth violence are more likely to be with others when they are attacked

High Speed - are you really on it?

What happens after somebody is stabbed?

Best case scenario - they get away with nothing but a scar. Worst case scenario - they wind up dead.

In every situation there is a victim. But what about the other victims? Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters & friends? They all suffer.

Stabbing one person creates aftermath for so many others.

Think about it. This one's a real one.

In London, January 2013, there were 1,038 victims of knife crime - 410 were injured, 4 killed
Approximately 90% of people admitted into hospital for assault by sharp object are men

Slow Down. What's the Rush?

Take a bit of time…Think about it - you carrying a knife is only ever your choice.

Think about it - the consequences of carrying a knife. Do you want to warn somebody to step off? Do you just want to hurt somebody a little bit, or do you really want to do them some damage?

THINK about it - do you really know what happens when you stab somebody? Have you seen what happens when somebody is stabbed? And if you carry knife, a lot of the time the person you end up stabbing is yourself. Have you tried running with a knife stuck down the back of your pants? Or even at the front, under your tracksuit bottoms that are worn under your jeans?

Leg Infection

And it's not only getting stabbed that's bad – there's the infection afterwards. Having to peel away skin to get the infection out.

So, think about it – would you prefer to be stepping out tooled up hoping that this will protect you, or making sure that your mum or somebody else you love doesn't get a phone call telling them something has happened to you. Maybe realising that the last thing they said to you is the last time they'll talk to you ever.

Think about it - is fear stronger than love?


Rules to da Game

If you carry a knife you're involved in the street game. So you better know the rules.

The term 'offensive weapon' is defined as: '…any article made or adapted for use to cause injury to a person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use'.

There are 3 categories of Offensive Weapons:


Knuckle Dusters, Flick Knives,


Bottle/Broken Glass, Sharpened Metal Comb


Skipping Rope, Screwdriver, Umbrella

Some knives are illegal even for adults to buy. Banned offensive weapons include: flick knives - also called 'switchblades' or 'automatic knives', butterfly knives, disguised knives (in which the blade is hidden in something like a belt buckle or fake mobile phone).

If you decide to carry a weapon into school, this automatically becomes a Police matter where the consequences are tough!

If you are caught in possession of a knife, this can carry a prison sentence of up to 4 years - even if it's not used.

In the event of stabbing another person and they unfortunately die, this means you will face serving a life prison sentence of a minimum 25 years.

Are you in or out…? Over to you

In 2012, 2,943 young people aged 10-17 committed an offence involving possession of a knife or offensive weapon

Joint Enterprise

Who are you rolling with?

It's a good idea to make sure, because if somebody's watching them, somebody's watching you. And it doesn't matter if somebody else used the knife. If you're with them, you'll also get done for the crime.

There are between 4 million and 5.9 million CCTV surveillance cameras in the UK and London has one of the highest number of CCTV cameras of any city in the world.

On one side or another – there's always somebody peeping the game.

Police figures show the average person in Britain is caught on camera 70 times a day

Pause / Rewind

You know the feeling you get when you do something and realise you've made a big mistake, but it's too late, the bad thing has already happened. Don't you wish you could just press PAUSE, then REWIND and do it again but not make the same mistake?

Remember, you have the power to decide what it is you do. If you choose to use a knife, the only person making that decision is you.

If you use it, there's NO REWINDING.

From June 2011 - June 2012 there were approximately 29,513 recorded offences involving knives or other sharp instruments

Some Simple Maths

If you're on road, high rolling, let's say you draw down 3 gees a month. Around 36 gees a year. That's not bad.

But then if you're making that kind of paper; number one - chances are you're on the radar which means you'll probably go down within a year; number two - to make that kind of paper you're probably doing something that will get you three to five years at least.

So let's say you go down for three years after making 36 gee. That money that you've made is all you'll have earned for four years in total (the year you spent making it and the three years you do inside).

So for one year say you were working at maybe 30 hours a week, that 36 gee adds up to you being on about £23 per hour, which isn't bad.

But then add in the three years you do inside. That 36 gees actually breaks down to you making just £1.20 per hour.

Is it worth it do you think?

As of June 2013, 19,960 young people aged 15-24 were in prison and 370 young people aged 12-15 were in secure centres / homes

Life Inside

On top of that, being inside is no joke.
For some people they would prefer to be dead.

You ever want to find out what it’s really like being inside, get in touch with us to speak to people with first-hand experience.

Or you can carry a knife as making that choice will only end in two ways:

Prison or Death

The YCYF billboard on Edgeware Road

What is Your Choice
Your Future?

Your Choice Your Future is a campaign created by a group of 16-19 year olds from Southwark, to deliver the hard-hitting message that knife crime can end in only one of two ways, prison or death.

Please promote the campaign and get the message out there to prevent knife crime in London.

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Website content is adapted from the '2nd Thought' delivery framework courtesy of Colin Skyers and Andrew Baker.

Want Help? Know Where to Turn

LIVES NOT KNIVES is a youth led initiative that aims to prevent young people from getting involved in knife and gang related crime. LNK work with young people from the age of 9-25 years; offer preventative programmes for 9-16 year olds and support 16-25 year olds with volunteering opportunities; mentoring and youth work qualifications; and work ready programmes leading to apprenticeships.

The Ben Kinsella Trust

Ben Kinsella was a 16 year-old from London who lost his life in 2008 as a result of a violent knife attack. Ben's family decided to use his story as a starting point to educate children and young people about how knife crime affects communities. The Trust run creative, interactive and memorable educational workshops for schools and youth groups about consequences, choices and personal safety at their exhibition space at Millwall Football Club.

For more info please visit the website or email us:

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Knife Awareness Programme

'2nd Thought' is an 8 - 12 week intensive Knife Awareness Programme which provides young people at risk of exclusion or offending behaviour access to expert led sessions, with professionals from the health, justice and education sectors, as well as with families who have been personally effected by knife crime.

2nd Thought encourages young people to draw their own conclusions about the dangers and consequences of  knife crime. The programme is flexible enough to be delivered in a range of settings including schools, youth groups and YOTs.

For more information about 2nd Thought please contact Colin Skyers:

Peabody Young People Services

YCYF is a hard hitting approach to a hard hitting issue.

Peabody Young People Services is committed to supporting young people develop the services they feel will make a positive difference to themselves and their communities. For more information about the YCYF campaign or to discuss anything else please contact:

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