Should students teach students about knife crime?

"Obviously we know about it, but we don't really know about it."

That was the response of one pupil during an unusual lesson witnessed by ITV News on the topic of knife crime.

Children growing up in the West Midlands - along with the rest of the country - have grown depressingly aware of the threat of knives.

But there's still much that remains misunderstood - and the danger is rising.

Eight people have been stabbed to death in the West Midlands in 2018 and in the last year alone there were more than 100 cases of children carrying knives to school in the area.

The region has experienced the biggest rise in knife crime anywhere outside London over the last three years.

So new attempts are being made to stop youths arming themselves.

Rather than a teacher or invited speaker addressing the class, it was the words of fellow students that were attempting to educate their younger peers.

Fifteen year olds are teaching 11 year olds as part of a trial in the West Midlands, asking them questions like "what is a bystander?" and bringing home the reality that those aware of knife carriers could face punishment along with those holding the weapon.

If the trial succeeds other schools could follow suit. Credit: ITV News

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson told ITV News the scheme should ultimately be expanded.

"I think younger children in primary school should be taught about the dangers of knives," he said.

If the trial succeeds, other schools across the country could adapt their lessons to let students attempt to educate their peers.