Knife crime in the UK: A quiz for young people

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This quiz aims to educate and encourage thoughtful discussion of knife crime and its impacts.

Once you reveal the answers, it may also be useful to discuss the logic behind them to provoke further discussion.


1. True or false: Carrying a knife for self-defence is legal in the UK?

2. What is the minimum age at which you can legally buy a knife in the UK?

a) 16 years old
b) 18 years old
c) 21 years old
d) There is no age limit

3. Which of the following is considered a ‘good reason’ in law to carry a knife in public?

a) As part of your job
b) As part of a costume for a play
c) For religious reasons
d) All of the above

4. If someone is caught carrying a knife without a good reason, what could be the potential consequence?

a) A warning
b) A prison sentence
c) Community service
d) All of the above

5. What should you do if you know someone who is carrying a knife?

a) Confront them directly
b) Ignore it as it’s none of your business
c) Report it to a trusted adult or the police
d) Challenge them to stop carrying it

6. True or false: 1-in-10 young people carry a knife in the UK.

7. What is the most common reason that young people state for carrying a knife?

a) To improve confidence and self-esteem
b) Self-protection or fear
c) Cooking
d) To imitate characters seen in movies or on TV

8. What can be a consequence of knife crime for communities?

a) Increased fear and anxiety
b) Reduced business activity
c) Reduced trust in community safety measures
d) None of the above

9. Which of these is an effective way to avoid getting involved in knife crime?

a) Carrying a knife for protection
b) Joining a local youth club or engaging in community activities
c) Avoiding talking about the issue
d) All of the above

10. Knife crime is most associated with which other type of crime?

a) Fly tipping
b) Drug dealing
c) Speeding
d) All of the above


1. False.

Further information: Self-defence is never an acceptable reason to carry an illegal weapon under UK law.

2. b) 18 years old.

Further information: However, it is always illegal to buy and sell an illegal weapon regardless of your age.

3. d) All of the above.

Further information: A court may decide whether these are “good reasons” if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.

4. d) All of the above.

Further information: You can also be made to pay an unlimited fine.

5. c) Report it to a trusted adult or the police.

Further information: It is important not to endanger yourselves and others by either confronting the person or saying nothing.

6. False.

Further information:  The statistic is actually closer to 1-in-100, however it is common for people to think carrying a knife is more common than it actually is.

7. b) Self-protection or fear.

Further information: Although the other reasons could be applicable, this is by far the most common reason a young person carries an illegal knife in public.

8. a) Increased fear and anxiety.

Further information: All of these consequences could be true, but increased fear and anxiety is the most common reported by communities.

9. c) Joining a local youth club or engaging in community activities.

Further information: These activities can build your confidence, self-esteem and help keep you away from the common routes into knife crime.

10. b) Drug dealing

Further information: In recent years, drug crime such as ‘county lines’ has been closely linked to knife crime.

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Option for a little long-form, which probably won’t be needed, but handy to have the option all the same.