Protection or attack? Young people carrying knives and dangerous implements

Jac Brown*, Jeanna Sutton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence and circumstances of young people carrying knives and dangerous implements was investigated through surveys conducted with 150 'street youth' and 184'school youth' in Sydney. It was found that a significant proportion of both samples carry and use knives/dangerous implements and that these implements had been used within the last week by many respondents. These implements are most commonly carried by young people between the ages of 13 and 14 years. A significant proportion of the sample reported having been threatened with knives/dangerous implements in the past. Police involvement was reported for both samples, but there was a higher proportion reported for the street sample. Young people report carrying knives/dangerous implements for safety, pressures from within and outside themselves, and to exert power and control over others. The research suggests that more emphasis needs to be placed on making young people feel safer in the community in order to address this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007



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