The Efficacy of School-Based Anti-Knife Crime Interventions

Knife crime interventions are an important initiative that aims to increase awareness of the dangers of knife crime. Currently, there are a number of different intervention types, targeting and focuses across the 300 delivered at schools in the West Midlands each year. This project aims to evaluate these interventions and provide guidance to maximise their effectiveness and essentially reduce youth knife crime. 

Efficacy of School-Based Anti-Knife Crime Interventions project


Research background

A range of school-based interventions have been developed to try and communicate the dangers of knife-crime to children. Some are run by the police, others by teachers, and some include presentations from those who have been affected by knife-crime, either as offenders or victims. These interventions are delivered either to year-group assemblies, or to smaller class groups. Around 300 are currently delivered at schools in the West Midlands each year, with around 40,000 young people taking part in them annually. However, it is unclear how effective such interventions are in changing attitudes towards knife crime and/or reducing risk, both of perpetration and victimisation.

This research evaluates the efficacy of different types of intervention and delivery method for children of different ages from varying backgrounds, in order to establish what works, when, and for whom. Findings will be used to help inform the development and targeting of such activities, in order to enhance their effectiveness in helping to reduce youth knife crime.

Research aims

  1. To determine what factors predict positive and negative attitudes towards knife crime, in order to identify potential risk and protective factors for youth knife-crime involvement.
  2. To establish the relative efficacy of different types of school-based anti-knife crime interventions currently in use.
  3. To identify ways of targeting such interventions in order to optimise student engagement and maximise impact.

Projected outcomes

The research analysis of these interventions serves to provide guidance on the targeting and effectiveness of intervention strategies, thus informing the implementation of future interventions designed to reduce youth knife crime.