Children who carry knives in London often break into tears when caught by police, a Met police officer has revealed.
Kids as young as 11 have been found carrying knives in South East London in recent months, MyLondon has been told.
Speaking at a “knife sweep” in Greenwich on Thursday morning (November 25), one officer said knife-carriers were “12, 13, and even younger sometimes”.
He said: “It’s not always necessarily them using them, but they’re carrying them – and they give them to the older children when they need them or ask for them.”
READ MORE: Sadiq Khan ‘heartbroken’ as boy, 16, stabbed to death in Southall ‘over Gucci bag’
The Greenwich officer said children were motivated by “fear” into carrying weapons: “They’re worried that other children are carrying knives.
“If they haven’t got one they’re at a disadvantage compared to someone who has got one.”
For older children, it is about “image”, he said: “They want to look [like] the hard person. But quite a lot of the time they’ll be tough out on the street, then you get them into the police van and they’re just scared.
“Quite often they start crying.”
Another member of the force, Sergeant Chelton (pictured), said knife possession among children in the capital was a “sad” reality.
“A lot of people don’t realise quite how dangerous knives are…But they’re going to spend several years in prison and have that hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives. They might only be 15,” he said.
The news follows the fatal stabbing of 16 year old Ashmeet Singh, who was killed on a residential street in Southall, West London, on Wednesday night.
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It brings the total number of killings of teenagers in the capital to 28 so far this year – just one fewer than the record high of 29 teens in 2008.
Mayor Sadiq Khan told MyLondon: “You are not more safe but less if you carry a knife” and urged Londoners to report on those who were believed to be carrying weapons.
A murder investigation has been launched by the Met police, who are seeking information. You can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
More than 900 arrests made and 290 were knives seized in the latest Met crackdown on knife possession, Operation Sceptre, which concluded last week.
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