South Wales Police Crest

South Wales Police

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Knife Crime

Incidents involving knives can have tragic consequences. Knife crime is not a part of everyday life in South Wales, but we recognise the importance of taking action to prevent a problem occurring.

Know the law! You may be breaking it without even realising.

It’s illegal to:

  • sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less
  • carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less
  • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife)

Any sharp instrument that is used in a threatening way (e.g. a screwdriver) is also an offensive weapon.

Police officers have the right to stop and search any person or vehicle if they suspect an offence, including possession of an offensive weapon.

The risk that someone you know may be carrying a knife or may be affected by knife crime can be very worrying and raise many questions.

Advice for parents

The best way to keep young people safe is to talk to them about the danger.

Talking can be difficult, but keep trying. Your son or daughter may be scared or unwilling to talk. Maybe they think they need to carry a knife because they feel threatened.

Look out for:

  • Problems at school or a reluctance to go to school
  • Issues of bullying or theft of personal items
  • A new network of friends

You may suspect that your son or daughter is carrying a knife. For example, you may discover a knife is missing from the kitchen.


Advice for students

It is illegal to carry a knife even if it’s for your own protection. Police, and teachers at school, can search anyone suspected of carrying a knife.

By carrying a knife, you could get a criminal record or even a prison sentence. This will have an impact on future job prospects and whether you’re able to travel abroad to some countries.

Carrying a knife significantly increases the risk to you being injured. Your own knife can be used against you or someone may attack you in ‘self-defence’.

How would you feel if a younger brother or sister carried a knife because they had seen you do it, and something happened to them as a result?

Using a knife, even in self-defence, can ruin your life as well as someone else’s. Even being there when someone else uses a knife can get you in trouble.

Walk away if you are confronted with the threat of violence.

Tell somebody you trust – a parent, teacher, friend or the police.

You can also report anything you know about knife crime 100% anonymously via Fearless.

More information on the Possession of Weapons, including knives, can be found elsewhere on this website.


Lives Not Knives