Make knives uncool like drink driving: Qld police plea
Knife crime is a large enough problem among young people in Queensland that parents should mention it alongside sex education and the dangers of drink-driving, police say.
Officers are at their wits' end in their attempts to convince young people not to carry the weapons.
Queensland police superintendent Brendan Smith said he was looking beyond traditional sources of influence to get the message across.
"Clearly these kids don't watch the nightly news or listen to the radio anymore," Det Supt Smith said on Sunday.
Influencers, older siblings, peers and parents are now being asked to pitch in.
"That conversation could save their lives, it could save the life of their friends (and) it could prevent them going to jail," Det Supt Smith said.
"How many ... families need to suffer the consequences because we were too busy to talk to our children or talk to our friends?"
The comments follow murder charges being laid against two teenagers over the stabbing death of a man during a brawl in Brisbane's southeast on Friday morning.
"Parenting in today's world is difficult, I understand that, and if you're struggling to get that message across, reach out to us," Det Supt Smith said.
"There are a multitude of government and non-government agencies that will help you reach out to your children."
There is legislation before the state's parliament to expand a trial giving police the power to search people for knives with detection wands on public transport and in nightclub precincts without reasonable suspicion.
Officers on the Gold Coast have already used the powers during an initial trial that began in May 2021, resulting in close to 200 weapons being seized.
There were 11 knife-related murders in Queensland last financial year and a 21 per cent increase in action taken against people aged between 10 and 21 for carrying a knife, Det Supt Smith said.
"Some of them are being quite clever in the way they conceal them, but they're not clever enough. We'll find them," he said.
Det Supt Smith said he was open to all suggestions to address the problem, but making it harder to purchase knives wasn't a perfect solution.
"Knives are everywhere, you walk into everyone's house and there's kitchen knives," he said.
"To suggest it's coming from one particular avenue would be wrong."
Det Supt Smith said carrying a knife should attract the same stigma as drink-driving.
"Let's make it uncool to carry a knife," he said.
"They don't think that they're ever going to use it, but they get in a circumstance where they pull it out. And next thing you know, someone is dead."