Ex-cop: ‘The majority of young people who carry knives are scared’

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A FORMER police officer who tours schools warning children off gang culture and violence said youngsters are carrying knives as they’re ‘scared’.

Dean Coady OBE, who runs Urban Pure Solutions, has worked with Hampshire police in Portsmouth to teach professionals who work with youngsters.

The former paratrooper and Manchester police officer goes into pupil referral units, and speaks with police and teachers.

Mr Coady uses an innovative workshop to try and steer children away from carrying knives.

He said: ‘The vast majority of young people who carry knives are carrying because they’re scared.

‘They may say it’s for protection or self defence, but many of them are not in threatening situations, most certainly not in situations that warrant carrying a knife.

‘Some young people are carrying a knife like some kind of violent fashion accessory.

‘Situations on the ‘roads’ can get very violent very quickly and if you carry a knife you are much more likely to get stabbed or cut yourself, or stab someone else - again out of fear.

‘It seems a bit of a contradiction at times, but some supposedly tough kids can often be the most vulnerable and at most risk of involvement in knife crime. Unfortunately there is a culture of fear on many streets and these kids get caught up in it.’

Mr Coady has trained professionals in Merseyside, Manchester and London.