We support the right for young people to be safe from fear and violence, and provide the tools and resources to enable this.
No Knives, Better Lives (NKBL) is a Scottish national programme that aims to deter young people from anti-social behaviour and carrying knives. We work in partnership with young people and practitioners to understand and address the drivers of youth violence in our community.
Who we are
NKBL is a collaboration between the Scottish Government and YouthLink Scotland—the national agency for youth work in Scotland. We’re a national initiative, delivered at local level with support available to any local authority in Scotland.
We seek to understand and take action on the causes and consequences of youth violence in Scottish communities. We bring people, knowledge and practice together to learn about what drives violence amongst young people, sharing information and resources.
What we do
We build understanding of the drivers and consequences of youth violence.
We build the capacity of practitioners and young people to take action to reduce youth violence in our communities.
We work to ensure policy and decision making on youth violence reduction includes the voices and experiences of young people and practitioners.
Why we do it
We want children and young people to grow up feeling loved, safe and respected so that they realise their full potential.
We want everyone to live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.
We want everyone’s human rights to be respected, protected and fulfilled, allowing a life free from discrimination
We take a youth work approach which means:
We are evidence-based which means:
We are rights-based which means:
All children and young people under 18 have specific human rights as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, otherwise known as the UNCRC.Find out more about the UNCRC
We work with young people to better understand their lives, and connect them to the services and support they need. We want them to develop the skills to keep themselves and others safe while making sure their voices are heard to shape practice, policy and decision-making around youth violence.
We function as a hub to provide practitioners with information, resources and support, alongside young people’s experiences to help them better understand the drivers of youth violence, as well as the consequences.
Our support helps practitioners to engage young people in responses to youth violence in their communities, while keeping them up to date with policy, research and best practice. We also help practitioners initiate multi-agency responses to youth violence in their communities.
The National Outcomes for Scotland includes a commitment to improve the life chances of children in Scotland and to ensure communities are safe from crime, disorder and danger.
Addressing issues of youth violence and anti-social behaviour requires many different types of intervention at many different levels. NKBL is a primary prevention initiative that specifically addresses the issue of knife carrying. It is informed by and complementary to wider policy priorities and interventions that aim to prevent offending and anti-social behaviour (Preventing Offending for Young People: A Framework for Action) and to improve outcomes for young people in Scotland (Getting It Right For Every Child).
There are two strands to the delivery of the NKBL engagement programme.
Using social marketing and youth work methods, we communicate information to young people across Scotland about the risks and consequences of knife carrying, positive decision-making and the importance of reporting knife carrying.
Working directly with local and national partners we develop and implement local approaches through training, resources and networking opportunities.