Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

Knife Awareness Campaign - launched on the 5/2/09

Campaign aimed primarily at young people.

An Garda Síochána launches knife crime awareness campaign

‘How Big Do You Feel?’ campaign aimed primarily at young people

Thursday 5th February, 2009:

The Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy together with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Mr. Dermot Ahern TD today officially launched An Garda Síochána’s knife crime awareness campaign. This public information campaign is directed at informing and educating young people of the dangers of carrying knives and at reducing the number of instances of knife crime in Ireland. The campaign is named ‘How Big Do You Feel?’


Launching the campaign, the Garda Commissioner said:

"This is one element of An Garda Síochána’s ongoing awareness raising activity directed at preventing crime and reducing the kind of anti-social behaviour which affects communities. It will be rolled out throughout the country and includes a series of workshops with school children, meetings led by community gardaí, and a number of online elements."


The Commissioner said that An Garda Síochána is committed to taking practical and effective steps to prevent crime, secure safe communities, and assist the gardai who are carrying out their duties on a daily basis in our communities.


"This initiative builds on previous events such as Community Safety Week and puts centre stage one of our most important resources – our community gardai. Last week I launched a new National Model of Community Policing. This week we are demonstrating in a real way how community policing can impact on crime levels by building relationships with young people, raising awareness and offering them support."


Referring to knife crime in Ireland, the Commissioner said that while we have been fortunate not to experience sustained high levels of knife deaths such as those witnessed in other countries, there has nonetheless been a series of high profile incidents which give rise to concern. In addition, we have seen evidence of increased knife carrying in the context of crimes such as assault.


The Commissioner continued: "With that in mind we want to intervene early with young people and bring home to them the dangers of deciding to carry a knife, not least of which is the risk that it will be used on themselves. The message is simple: Carrying a knife is against the law and if you are caught you will be charged and brought to court. Carrying a knife greatly increases your chances of being seriously injured or killed in a fight."


Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern TD said: "The Garda Commissioner has made a number of recommendations to me: that the penalties for possessing a knife in a public place be increased; that an extended power of search without warrant be created in circumstances where a member of An Garda Síochána has reasonable grounds to suspect a person is carrying any article for an unlawful purpose; and for consideration of a prohibition in relation to swords. I am now bringing forward amendments to the legislation in the forthcoming Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. Drafting of the Bill is almost completed and the Government have agreed to treat it as a priority measure for this Dáil session."

Note for Editors:

Campaign Elements

The campaign focuses on crime prevention and An Garda Síochána will target young people in a number of ways, including:

· 12 roadshow meetings in locations throughout the country.

· Further schools meetings in all parts of the country led by Community Gardaí.

· Editorial campaigns in national, regional and local media to coincide with the rollout of a roadshow meeting in that area

· A unique website aimed at communicating with young people – www.howbigdoyoufeel.ie

· A presence on social networking websites including Bebo, Facebook and Twitter to encourage young people to engage with An Garda Síochána and to communicate the dangers of carrying knives.

· Videos encouraging young people to visit the campaign site and offer their views.

· Information leaflets aimed at young people and their parents.

· Input into youth diversion programmes that reach at-risk young people.

· A fact leaflet distributed through Garda stations and a simple supporting website that caters to audiences other than young people – www.knifefacts.ie


Garda Press Office

13.50hrs 5.2.09



Knife Crime Awareness Campaign – Press Conference

at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, 5 February 2009



Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern TD

Garda Commissioner, Mr. Fachtna Murphy

Assistant Commissioner, Dublin Metropolitan Area, Mr. Al McHugh

Location: Press Centre, Government Buildings

On Thursday 5 February 2009 at 1:30 p.m. the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., will officially launch An Garda Síochána’s Knife Crime Awareness Campaign at the Press Centre in Government Buildings.

The launch will outline the purpose of the campaign and its key messages as well as detailing the key communication strands of the campaign including internet and other audio-visual material.


Garda Press Office

08.00hrs 5.2.09