Discussion exercises: The cost of carrying a knife

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Building on the resources in this pack so far, these exercises show different experiences of knife crime. It explores the wider consequences of carrying a knife and the different ways a young person can turn their back on this lifestyle.

Watch the following videos and discuss the questions provided. They could be discussed between a parent/guardian and a young person, or in a group setting.

Content warning: Please note that these videos contain highly emotive content. Please use your discretion before watching and showing them to others.

Emma’s experience: ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anyone’

Video length: 6 minutes

In August 2019, Emma’s son Harry was stabbed to death in Barry Docks. He was 17 years old. In this video, Emma shares her experience and the impact Harry’s death has had on her and her family.

Questions to discuss:

  • How did watching Emma’s story make you feel? Name some of the emotions that come to mind and explain why.
  • What are some of the reasons that led Harry to carry a knife?
  • What consequences did Harry’s decision to carry a knife have for his family?
  • What did Emma’s story make you think about carrying a knife? Did it change your attitude or perspective?

Wes’s experience: “Know where you’re going if you do this”

Video length: 6 minutes

Wes became involved in drugs as a teenager and started carrying a knife for protection. One night, on the train home from an out-of-area delivery, he noticed three boys were following him. They chased him, cornered him, and stabbed him.

A few days later, after life-saving surgery, he woke in hospital to the distraught and terrified faces of his grandparents.

Questions to discuss:

  • What were the factors that led Wes to carry a knife?
  • What do you think Wes’s grandparents felt about his stabbing? Name some of the emotions they may have felt and why.
  • What are the different ways Wes has been affected by his experience? List as many as you can think of.
  • Why didn’t carrying a knife protect to Wes when he was confronted?

Dai’s story: “The consequences of my past caught up with me”

Video length: 5 minutes

Content warning: This video references sexual violence and may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Dai was in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction when he was called to a flat in Swansea to lend someone money. It was a set-up. As he left the building, four people were waiting for him outside the lift on the ground floor. They were looking for drugs.

For 14 minutes, they choked him, beat him, and stabbed him.

Questions to discuss:

  • How did getting stabbed affect Dai and his recovery from substance abuse?
  • Dealing with drugs can sometimes be glamorised. What do you think Dai meant when he said it was “not a bed of roses”?
  • In what ways is Dai’s life better after leaving his old lifestyle?

Claire’s story: “There are people out there who care”

Video length: 5 minutes 45 seconds

Claire is a youth worker in South Wales who has spent 25 years working with young people involved in drug and knife crime, helping them to turn their lives around.

She explains how there is a way out for young people caught up in this lifestyle and where they can turn to.

Questions to discuss:

  • How might gangs play on a young person’s vulnerabilities?
  • How can carrying packages for these gangs escalate according to Claire’s experience with one young person?
  • If a young person becomes involved with a gang and criminal activity, where are some of the places they can turn to?
  • What advice would you give to another young person who may be involved with drug and 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.