As young people across the region head back to school, they will now understand the heart-breaking reality of carrying a knife as Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness’s Violence Reduction Unit ramps up its education programme in a bid to tackle knife crime.

Through providing interactive sessions to thousands of children, the unit’s dedicated Education Team will focus on addressing why young people might carry a knife, the law and consequences around knife crime, dispelling any myths and looking at the advice and support available.

This comes as the Violence Reduction Unit launched its hard-hitting Knives Impact Everyone campaign last month, aimed at making young people think before picking up a knife by understanding the impact their actions can have.

The ramped up violence reduction learning programme is the latest addition in this powerful campaign that already includes emotionally charged graphics on the region’s buses, metro stations, billboards and kiosks, as well as online.

Already featuring in the campaign, the following message will now be a key factor in the education sessions delivered to young people – ‘Knife crime cuts deep. Whether you’re carrying or you’re a victim, the consequences impact everyone; family, friends, emergency services and communities’.

The Education Team have already worked with a staggering 71,555 young people since the unit’s inception in 2019, and this renewed focus will see them work with thousands more.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness said: “I don’t want to see another family go through the heartbreak of losing a loved one to this horrific crime. That’s why this early intervention is key to ensuring young people understand that their actions can have a devastating impact on so many.”

“Education is such a valuable tool, which is my Violence Reduction Unit has a dedicated education team giving young people the chance to take part in open and honest discussions about the realities and consequences of knife crime.”

“We must continue to get the right messages to young people so that we can support them in making better decisions for their future.”

“I know the education team are eager to get back into schools to deliver our vital knife crime awareness sessions, and I’d like to thank every young person who takes part.”

Training is also available to those who work with young people to help them have those early conversations and provide the right support by understanding issues relating to knife crime that could increase a person’s vulnerability.

For more information, please contact the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit by email