Cut The Violence

Knife Crime: Real Stories. Real Impact.

What The Law Says

Carrying a weapon, like a knife, without a lawful reason is illegal in Victoria. The Control of Weapons Regulations 2021 and Control of Weapons Act 1990 outline rules of owning weapons and dangerous items. Violating these laws can lead to criminal charges, fines, and even imprisonment. Examples of knives you cannot carry without a lawful purpose include Swiss Army Knives or Box-Cutters, Kitchen knives, or bayonets.

Dangers Of Carrying A Weapon

Carrying a knife might seem harmless, but it’s essential to recognise the hidden dangers it brings.  

  • A knife can provoke or escalate conflicts that might otherwise remain non-violent.


  • Carrying a knife can create a false sense of security, encouraging someone to engage in risky behaviour they might not otherwise consider.


  • Carrying a knife increases the risk of accidents for the person carrying the knife and others nearby. Knife injuries can cause serious harm or even death.

What’s A Lawful Purpose For Carrying A Knife?

Carrying a knife for lawful purposes could include:

For work (e.g., you are a chef), recreation (e.g., fishing), display (e.g., art installation) or for religious reasons like a kirpan. Carrying a knife for self-defence is NOT legal.

What Are The Penalties?

You can go to jail for:  

  • 1 year for carrying a knife.  
  • 5 years for threatening to injure someone. 
  • 5 years for recklessly injuring someone. 
  • 10 years for threatening to kill someone. 
  • 10 years for intentionally injuring someone. 
  • 15 years for recklessly causing serious injury to someone.  
  • 20 years for intentionally causing serious injury to someone. 
  • Up to 2 years for selling a knife to someone aged under 18 years 
  • Up to 25 years for murder. 
  • You can be fined upwards of $46,154 for selling a knife to someone under 18 years. 

Help And Advice​

Why Do Some People Carry A Knife?

We understand knife carrying is not just for young people.

People may carry knives for various reasons. It is important to recognise that the reasons can differ based on individual circumstances or cultural contexts. While some reasons may be lawful or practical, others may be rooted in personal beliefs or self-defence concerns.

The Facts And Risks:

  • Between January 2021 – June 2022, 91 young people aged between 2-18 were hospitalised. 
  • Police can stop and search you, your bag or your car for weapons without a warrant if they reasonably suspect you are carrying a weapon illegally. If police have the power to search you without a warrant and you resist, you may be charged with a criminal offence. See Getting searched for more information. 

Knife Carrying Warning Signs…

You know your teen better than anyone. Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in identifying signs of weapon carrying among their loved ones. Here are some tips and advice on recognising warning signs

How To Talk About Knife-carrying 

Knife carrying is a big topic. Starting a conversation, especially with a young person, requires sensitivity. While there is no script for difficult conversations, there are ways you can encourage a more positive discussion.


If you believe that the situation poses an immediate threat to someone’s safety, please contact 000.

It’s important to approach this situation with sensitivity and a focus on safety. If you need help, ask for help from professionals or trained authorities. Your priority should always be the well-being and safety of everyone involved.  

Avoid a direct confrontation, especially if you believe they may react negatively. Remember that some people carry a knife for personal reasons they may not be willing to share. 

  • Anonymous reporting: If you’re concerned about your safety or prefer to remain anonymous, consider reporting the situation to local law enforcement or a relevant anonymous reporting hotline, such as Crime Stoppers.  
  • If you’re in an environment where others are aware of the situation, encourage them to report their concerns as well. Collective action can lead to a more effective response.  
  • Inform a trusted adult: If you or the person carrying the knife is a minor, it’s important to inform a trusted adult such as a parent, teacher, school counsellor, or other responsible authority figure. They can address the situation with appropriate care.  

If you believe that the situation poses an immediate threat to someone’s safety, please contact 000.

If you suspect someone is a victim of a weapon-related situation, here are some steps to consider:  

  • If the situation involves immediate danger, call 000.  
  • Consider involving trained professionals such as law enforcement, social workers or counsellors. 
  • Encourage the person to report the situation to law enforcement or school officials. Include relevant information, such as dates, times, locations, or details about the situation, make a note of it. This information might be useful if authorities need to be involved.  
  • Approach the person with empathy and offer your support. Let them know you’re there to listen and help if they need it.  
  • Provide resources and support such as hotlines, counselling centers or victim support organisations.  
  • If you would like to report crime information or suspicious activity anonymously, consider sharing what you know anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000 or online
  • Mental Health Support Services: Organisations like Beyond Blue and Lifeline – Offering mental health support and counselling services. 
  • Victoria Police website – Provides information about the rules related to weapons and how to report incidents. 
  • Crime Stoppers Victoria website: Report crime information, without saying who you are. 
  • Kids Helpline website – Provides free confidential counselling service available any time of the day or night by phone or webchat.  
  • Youth Support Services – Offer counselling, support, and resources to address various challenges. 

If you feel pressured to carry a knife, the first thing you can do is talk about the situation with a trusted adult, like a parent, teacher, or coach. If you don’t feel you can, you can reach out to: 

  • Kids Helpline: – Free, confidential counselling service available any time of the day or night by phone or webchat.  
  • Youth Support Services: home page ( – For young individuals who might be at risk of weapon-related issues, offer counseling, support, and resources to address various challenges. 

If someone has been stabbed, contact 000 immediately and share your location so they can send help. Hospital staff will be focused on ensuring that the person is safe. 

Consider your safety and the safety of others before taking any action. 

If you are in immediate danger or it’s an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

If you find a knife at a staffed public venue that you wish to report, let a worker or security guard know.

If you find a suspicious looking knife or weapon at a location without staff that you wish to report, you can contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

If you would like to share crime information anonymously, please contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on
1800 333 000 or online.

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How To Talk About Knife-Carrying | Download

How To Spot The Warning Signs | Download

The Law | Download

Crime Stoppers Victoria acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Crime Stoppers Victoria (ABN 15 006 945 151) is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Donations of $2 or more to Crime Stoppers Victoria are tax deductible in Australia.
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