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Course showing dangers and consequences of knife crime rolled out

23 November 2009

A hard hitting programme to educate young people convicted of knife possession about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife has been rolled out across all tackling knives and serious youth violence action programme (TKAP) areas, Home Office Minister David Hanson announced today.

Following a pilot, the knife crime prevention programme (KCPP) is now being run by nearly 100 youth offending teams in TKAP areas.

The programme is targeted solely at young people (aged 10 — 17) convicted of any offence involving a knife and does not replace the tough sentences imposed on adults or repeat offenders.

Run by the Home Office and Youth Justice Board the programme consists of eight modules including — attitudes towards carrying a knife, the legal implications of buying knives, impact of knife wounds including images, and talks from victims or their family. Alongside these tough messages, the young people are provided with support such as help leaving gangs, advice for managing anger or self referral pathways for those who feel threatened.

Statement from Home Office Minister

David Hanson said, 'I am really encouraged that this programme has been rolled out across all TKAP areas.

'This course brings young people face to face with the consequences of knife crime whatever the reason they carried the knife in the first place.

'These young people could be on the brink of entering serious crime or gang lifestyles, by bringing together the police, local authorities and ex-offenders in this way we hope to prevent this happening and give these young people back their futures.'

Statement from the Justice Minister

Clare Ward said, 'The roll out of the knife crime prevention pilot is a clear sign of the government's commitment to eradicating the scourge of knife crime on our streets. We have put in place harsh punishments, including doubling the maximum prison sentence for carrying a knife, but that has to go hand in hand with education, especially for young people.

'These programmes inform young people about the punishments they face if they are caught in possession of, or use a knife in the future. Myths, such as that there are "safe" places on the body to stab someone without killing them are dispelled. And the message that if you carry a knife you are more likely to be a victim of knife crime- and may have your own knife turned on you- is forcefully brought home.'

What is TKAP?

The cross-government tackling knives and serious youth violence action programme aims to reduce injury and death in young people in 15 areas across England and Wales affected by serious youth violence. TKAP was expanded in March to tackle all forms of serious violence among 13 — 24 year olds, through enforcement, education and rehabilitation.

Notes to editors

The programme includes the following modules:

  • attitudes to knife carrying - helping young people understand their experience of issues such as the fear of crime, territoriality, gangs and how these contribute to choices
  • the law - the legal implication of the buying, selling, making, possession and use of knives. Some delivery of these modules through police partnerships
  • health - medical implications of using a weapon, first aid, CPR, scars, nerve damage. In most cases this module will be delivered directly by medical professionals. Some Schemes may use pre-recorded media, or practitioners trained by medical professionals
  • social implications - for the individual, family and friends, developing a criminal record, the impact on emergency services. Exploring the affect that devastating crime has on communities
  • managing conflict - anger management, conflict resolution, identifying rage, mediation
  • victim / perpetrator interaction - the use of victim groups to deliver powerful testimony to young people. Some schemes may use local victim support units to identify appropriate speakers
  • public space awareness and exit strategies - safety within the community, self referral pathways for young people who feel threatened
  • ex-offender education - direct testimony from perpetrators of knife crime, focusing on experiences within the justice system and lessons learned

It is expected approximately 2,000 young people will complete the programme is its first year.

TKAP launched in June 2008 (aimed at young people aged 13 — 19) with ten police forces — Metropolitan, Essex, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, South Wales and Thames Valley. In November 2008 four more were added as second tier forces - Bedfordshire, Northumbria, South Yorkshire and British Transport Police. In March 2009 it was further extended to include Kent and Hampshire.

For more information call Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.

For more regional spokespeople from the Youth Justice Board press office call 0207 271 2973.


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