Professional Resources

Gangs & Knives In Schools

Most young people and education establishments in Norfolk will not be affected by serious violence or gangs. However gang violence and knife crime is on the increase in Norfolk. 

All settings have a responsibility to look after their learners. It is also well established that success in learning is one of the most powerful indicators in the prevention of youth crime (Youth Justice Board.gov 2005).

Most young people feel safe at their setting, but it only takes a small amount of youth violence to impact this environment in a negative way. Settings are places where important interventions can take place to prevent negative behaviour, such as young people carrying a knife, drug dealing and other gang behaviours.

Gang members may groom vulnerable young males and females, incentivising with food, money and offering a sense of belonging and ‘family’. Children are being drawn into gang life by holding, transporting or storing items such as drugs, tools for moped stealing, knives and phones for older gang members. They may also be asked or forced to carry items such as drugs as they are less likely to be stopped by police.

It's not just settings with older students where interventions can take place. Younger settings are also increasingly recognised as places where early warning signs that younger children may be at risk of getting involved in gangs can be spotted. Important preventative work can be done here to stop negative behaviours from escalating into teen and adult life. 

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In Professional Settings

Parents, carers, family members and other adults in children’s lives, have an incredibly important role to play in helping to protect them from gangs and keeping them away from violence.

Safer Schools Partnership

The Norfolk Safer Schools Partnership (SSP) is a positive way for all schools to demonstrate their commitment to promoting a safe climate of learning and to prevent crime. A Safer Schools Partnership is where Police and schools work together in order to keep young people safe, reduce crime and improve behaviour in schools and their surrounding communities. 

Safer Schools Partnerships aim to ensure;

  • Safety of pupils, staff and the school site and surrounding area/community.
  • Help for young people to deal with situations that may put them at risk of becoming victims of crime, bullying or intimidation, and to provide support to those who do.
  • Focused enforcement to demonstrate that those that do offend cannot do so without facing consequences.
  • Early identification, support and where necessary challenge of pupils involved in or at risk of offending.
  • Improved standards of pupil behaviour and attendance, and less need for exclusions.
  • More positive relations between young people, the Police and the wider community.
  • Effective approaches to issues beyond the school site that negatively impact on pupil safety and behaviour.

SSPs help keep young people safe, reduce the risk of young people getting drawn into crime, antisocial or extremist behaviour.  It improves the safety of the school site and surrounding area, building positive relationships between young people and police.  It also promotes shared values and improves relations generally within the school and the wider community.


To assist in managing incidences where young people are believed to be carrying offensive weapons (including knives) on the settings premises, OFSTED recommends that settings should:

  • have suitable policies and procedures in place for managing the possession of offensive weapons.
  • report all incidents to the police, as appropriate.
  • work with police neighbourhood teams/school liaison officers, and the Youth Offending Service to link in with preventative work.

Settings should refer to the NPCC’s, When to call the police: Guidance for Schools and Colleges.

If You Have Concerns About a Child or Young Person

There may be concerns about a young person at your setting. You may be told by other young people that they are carrying a knife. They may disclose to you of their own volition. Follow your settings safeguarding policies to ensure the immediate safety of the young person and professionals and young people around them.

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