KNIFE crime education is being launched across schools in Dorset to reduce violence involving young people.

Oak Academy, in Bournemouth, is one of 26 schools to take part in the Firearms And Knife Education (FAKE) over the next fortnight.

The talks, launched as part of Operation Sceptre, are targeted at local schools and highlight the dangers of knives and the law of possessing knives at home.

Pupils at Oak Academy were joined by PC Mark Francis and the Safer Schools and Communities team on November 17 to take part in FAKE.

The youngsters were warned of how dangerous carrying a blade can be, and urged to realise that those who carry knives are in the minority.

PC Francis said: “If you think you have to carry a knife because everyone does, then you’re wrong.”

He added the importance that carrying knives can result in the weapon being used on the carrier.

Knife crime and the law were taught to the year ten pupils, explaining the differences between what is legal and what is not.

Despite this, PC Francis emphasised Dorset being the sixth safest county in the country and that there is fewer than one knife offence per 10,000 people in the area.

Hayley Richley, principal at Oak Academy, said: "We want to empower our students so they know how to keep themselves safe.

"We work closely with a number of external agencies to ensure we are providing every opportunity to fully educate our students across a broad range of subjects, including knife crime and any potential dangers within society. 

"We  knew this presentation would be interactive and engage them."

She added that there has been an 'overwhelmingly positive' response from students. 

"Students have commented on how this has developed their knowledge and the consequences of carrying weapons in general."

Police and crime commissioner for Dorset, David Sidwick, said Dorset Police have been conducting education talks for around six years but are now increasing the number.

However, he said too many of Dorset's young people think it is okay to carry knives, and argued that more interventions need to be put into place to reduce violence.

“I do not agree that we have to get bad in order to get the funding,” said Mr Sidwick.

He added that the talks are currently targeted at 14 to 15 year olds but he thinks they need to be aimed at younger people.

“It would need to be age specific but I think it needs to be going down to primary schools, as long as it’s done carefully.”

Mr Sidwick said that each police car now carries a knife wand and that they are looking at getting a portable knife arch for police to use.