Parents are warned to contact Lancashire Police if their child is carrying a knife as it may be a sign they are involved in gang culture

Parents are being advised on what to do if they suspect their child could be carrying a knife, warning that it could be a sign that they are involved with a gang.
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Police say that it’s an ‘upward trend’ for young people to carry knives, and want to spread the message that they are putting themselves at risk by doing so.

Sgt Dan Whitaker, from Lancashire's Violence Reduction Network, told Blackpool Gazette: “They tell us they’re doing it for their own protection, but statistics tell us that sadly it’s themselves that get injured by their own knife – it’s taken from them and they’re stabbed with their own knife.”

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From Monday to Sunday next week (November 13-19), a campaign will reinforce the message that carrying a blade is illegal.

Sgt Dan Whitaker talks about the dangers of carrying a knifeSgt Dan Whitaker talks about the dangers of carrying a knife
Sgt Dan Whitaker talks about the dangers of carrying a knife

As part of the Knife Crime Awareness Week, Lancashire Constabulary will be conducting searches for knives hidden in public areas, talking to traders to ensure knives are not sold to under-18s and educating young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.

Sgt Whitaker also wants to remind parents to contact Lancashire Police if they suspect their youngster has a weapon.

He added: “We can refer them to different support groups to stop them from criminalising themselves at a young age. Knife crime is linked to gang culture and we want to make sure they are not being coerced into joining gangs.”

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Some of the warning signs to look out for include having money they can’t explain, discarding their other friend groups, having multiple phones, and distancing themselves from their family.

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Andrew Snowden, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I will always ensure the Constabulary has the resources needed to proactively tackle knife crime and put offenders behind bars. The carrying of knives is not acceptable and those who do should know that officers will stop them.

“Through getting tough on offenders whilst also educating people around the dangers, we will make Lancashire safer, whilst ensuring offenders, and their weapons, are removed from our streets.”