Violence Reduction Alliance


National data shows 99% of young people under 29-years-old, do not carry a knife.


The #DitchtheBlade campaign seeks to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

99% of young people under 29 years old, do not carry a knife; however, some people still feel pressured into carrying because of a perception that everyone else is. The DitchtheBlade campaign seeks to dispel myths around this and encourage everyone to DitchtheBlade. 

To support this, there are knife banks located across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent where members of the public can anonymously surrender their weapons with no repercussions. Find your nearest knife bin below. 

Watch the video below to hear how VRA partners are helping to prevent and reduce knife crime or listen to Staffordshire Police’s podcast here


Help dispel myths around knife crime by printing, sharing, handing out and displaying these resources with young people and parents & carers across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Advice for parents and carers

Signs your child may be carrying a knife
  • Withdrawn from family and school 
  • Change in behaviour 
  • Skipping school 
  • Sudden change in friendship groups
  • Staying out late
  • Being secretive and defensive, particularly about what may be in their bag or bedroom
  • Missing kitchen knives 
Who can I call for help?

If you are worried about a child and wish to make a referral, please visit the below safeguarding website relevant to your local authority: 


Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Safeguarding Referral Team – 01782 235100, or out of hours 01782 234234.


All other areas of Staffordshire are covered by Staffordshire County Council’s First Response team – 0800 1313 126, or out of hours 0345 6042 886.

If you believe somebody is in immediate danger always dial 999.

Alternatively, if you wish to give information anonymously visit the CrimeStoppers website below.

Other useful resources 

Advice for young people

I’m being pressured to carry a knife. What can I do?
  • You should never let anybody pressure you into doing something you don’t want to. Consider whether those you surround yourself with are having a positive impact on your life 
  • If you think you may be pressured into carrying a knife, try to think of a way to say no before you are put on the spot – it could save your life 
  • Try to stay away from situations that you know are likely to result in conflict or violence 
  • Find positive things to do which will help you avoid dangerous situation. This will also help you meet others who don’t carry 
What are the consequences?

Potential consequences of carrying a knife include:

  • Being arrested – police can stop and search someone if they believe a weapon is being carried
  • Prosecution – regardless of whether you say it was for your own protection or you were carrying it for someone else 
  • Prison – sentences of up to four years are given for possession of a knife OR if you stab someone and they die then a life sentence means 25 years inside
  • A criminal record – this can stop you getting in to college, university, getting a job or travelling to countries like the USA or Australia 
  • Death – you could get seriously injured, killed or kill somebody else – resulting in a life sentence in prison. 
Help and Support

If you are worried about a friend, being pressured into carrying a knife or are in a situation that you feel uncomfortable, you can get advice from independent agencies. When you contact them you do not have to give your personal details or  information. 

Staffordshire Youth Offending Prevention Service



Victim Support 


If you believe you, or somebody else, is in immediate danger always dial 999.

Help and Support available to you

Visit our Support page for further information and advice on where to go for support.


We are taking a partnership and inclusion approach to bringing about positive changes in communities throughout Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent. These projects are created or selected based on understanding and needs of local communities, brought by those who are living and working within them.

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