The increase in knife crime is something that cannot be ignored. We are the first line of defence, as we are for most safeguarding issues, but we need to know the facts. According to BBC News knife crime in schools has risen by seven thousand cases over the last seven years.
What do our staff need to know?
As with all safeguarding, staff need to be clear about what to do when concerns around knife crime arise. They also need to be trained (as part of inset training) on signs to look out for. Often these are similar to other signs of abuse but it is always good to reiterate these in this context, and to notify staff about what they need to do if they see a weapon (being clear on what the guidelines are for bag searches, etc.) Schools should also have a plan for knife crime prevention and for disseminating parental information on the subject.
What do our parents need to know?
I believe that prevention shouldn’t just be laid at the door of teachers and school leaders, but should be shared with parents. Most parents are unaware, as with most safeguarding concerns, about the dangers that their child could be facing and keeping them informed on the subject is essential. Holding parent workshops, drop in sessions and giving them the resources to help their children are all important prevention strategies. One of the best resources I've found online to support parents when it comes to knife crime is on the NI Direct website.
Have you any other ideas on how we can tackle knife crime? Leave a message below or comment on our groups.
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