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Knife crime and gangs

Knife crime

Knife crime is any crime which involves a knife whether it is used or not, some examples include:

  • carrying a knife
  • threatening someone with a knife
  • intending to hurt someone with a knife
  • using a knife to injure or kill someone
  • thieves carrying knives during a robbery or burglary
  • the involvement of a knife or knives in gang-related offences
  • someone under 18 trying to buy a knife

If you are worried about someone you know carrying a knife, want to talk to someone about knife crime or ask advice please call 101. Always call 999 in an emergency such as when a crime is in progress and/or someone is in immediate danger. Find more information and support on the Northamptonshire Police website.

Gangs - spot the signs and save lives

You might have noticed someone you know behaving differently recently. Most people don’t commit crimes or get involved in gangs but it’s important to be aware of the signs that someone you know might be. These can include:

  • not hanging around with their usual friends
  • coming home late or staying out more than usual
  • being secretive and withdrawn
  • hanging around with different people
  • having unexplained injuries
  • taking drugs
  • carrying weapons
  • skipping school
  • talking differently - for example using new slang words
  • suddenly having a lot of money and expensive things like designer clothes, phones and watches 

or call 101 and ask for your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. 

Child Criminal Exploitation

Criminal exploitation is child abuse where children and young people are manipulated and coerced into committing crimes.

Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited, they're given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they're in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they're being abused.

Would you recognise the signs?

Child exploitation - would you recognise the signs?


There are lots of services you can contact if you are worried someone you know is involved in gangs or knife crime, or if they are being exploited or at risk of exploitation. These include:


•    Stephen Mold PFCC: Stephen Mold - Knife Crime Week of Action on Vimeo
•    Oliver Charter CIRV: Oliver Charter - CIRV on Vimeo
•    F2T mentoring: Free2Talk - Mentoring on Vimeo
•    Lee Brentnall: Knife Angel - Lee Brentnall on Vimeo
•    Anton Noble: Knife Angel - Anton Noble on Vimeo

Last updated 20 December 2023