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Chief Constable of South Wales Police says school children are carrying knives for 'kudos'

South West Police believe that education and early intervention is needed to tackle knife crime Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Education and early intervention is needed to tackle knife crime, according to the Chief Constable of South Wales Police.

In an interview with ITV Wales he said children are carrying knives for kudos.

Chief Constable Matt Jukes. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

We need to stop young people feeling they need to carry knives, either for kudos or self protection. It's about getting into the lives of young people and saying it's madness to carry a knife or get involved in the criminality associated with that.

– Chief Constable of South Wales Police

Anti-knife crime lessons are not compulsory, but several schools across Cardiff have invited the police into class to discuss knife crime. Teachers say knife crime is an issue primary school children of all ages are aware of.

Headteacher of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wales Primary School in Cardiff says it's important that children get the right message at the right time on issues like knife crime.

Lots of children of many age groups are aware of things that I wasn't when I was growing up. So it's important that projects like this happen so children get the right message at the right time.

– Headteacher of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wales Primary School
Anti-knife crime lessons are being taught in several schools across Cardiff Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Police Community Support Officer Laura Moore has been visiting schools in her community to build up rapport with pupils from as young as 4, so the message of prevention can be filtered through as they get older.

We've got to get into schools to educate and deter as much as we can. Many young people don't realise if they carry a knife, they're more likely to have it used against them

– PCSO Laura Moore, South Wales Police

A Welsh Government spokesperson said:

There is a duty is on local authorities and schools to ensure that schools are a safe environment for all. If at any point the environment within a school becomes unsafe, the school should ensure that the relevant authorities are informed so that appropriate support can be made available.

– Welsh Government spokesperson