We’re heading back to school too.

Over 2,600 young people across South Yorkshire have been given the sharp facts about carrying guns and knives or associating with those who carry weapons, and how their choices can affect the rest of their lives.

The Guns and Knives Takes Lives Initiative, provides a hard-hitting presentation which educates the school pupils on the dangers of carrying and using these weapons as well as the following topics:

• Law on knives

• Knives and associated injuries

• Gaming and the effects it has on young people in relation to gun and knife crime

• Practical advice

• Law on guns

• Interactive exercise - the 'point 7' challenge

• Law on using others to carry weapons

• Advice on disposal of weapons

• Consequences

• Rhys Jones case

Stephen Merrett, Chief Officer, Head of the Special Constabulary, said: “In South Yorkshire during April 2016 to March 2017 there were 96 offences involving the use of knives and sharp instruments in schools and colleges. We need to do anything in our powers through prevention, intervention and education to reducing youth-related incidents involving knives. We show youngsters that the idea of carrying a knife for protection or status is far from a glamorous one, and by carrying a knife you are more likely to use and get stabbed yourself.”

Stephen added, “Alongside our county wide Knife Crime campaign, #DropTheKnife, we’re raising awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife, whether it’s for you or a mate, you will be arrested and prosecuted. For possession alone it’s up to four years and it’ll land you with a criminal record for the rest of your life. We hope our message resonates with the youngest of South Yorkshire and they think twice about putting a knife in their pocket. Is it worth the risk?”

Guns and Knives Take Lives Initiative was originally introduced in 2005. Since May 2017, the initiative has been delivered to Dinnington High School, Chaucer School, Yewlands Academy, Parkwood E-ACT Academy, Mexborough Academy National Citizenship Service and Nacro. The 45 or 90 minute sessions continues to be delivered to schools across South Yorkshire.

For more information about knife crime and the consequences of carrying a knife, visit: www.southyorks.police.uk/droptheknife