YOUNGSTERS are being warned about the consequences of carrying knives in a new campaign.

Sussex Police wants to stop people arming themselves with blades, and has launched an education and poster scheme.

Last month the force carried out action at Brighton railway station with metal detector arches placed at the exits, seizing three blades and making six arrests.

The force says young people carrying weapons are more likely to put themselves in danger, and said the consequences can be deadly if an incident gets out of hand with weapons involved.

But at the same time, it can also have huge affect on young people to carry a criminal conviction, which will affect their job prospects and career options.

One 17-year-old girl, who did not wish to be identified, spoke of her regret at taking a kitchen knife out in public.

She said: “At the time it may seem a good idea but when you grow up or try to grow up it may be too late. The damage is done and I learnt the hard way.

“I don’t really know what I was thinking but I took a kitchen knife out with me and left my mum a note to say I was going to sort things out. I had no intention of using the knife but it made me feel safe knowing I had it.

“My mum had called the police as she was worried and I was later caught with the knife and arrested.

“I was given a 12 month court order. This will always be on my file now and because of this I will not be able to work with children like I always wanted to do.”

She said she realises her decision was wrong, and hopes her warning will help stop other young people thinking of carrying a knife.

Chief Inspector Paul Phelps said: “Our priority is keeping young people safe from harm and ensuring they’re aware of the dangers of carrying a knife.

“It’s a huge misconception that carrying a knife for protection makes you safer. We are clear that it puts you and those around you at a greater risk.

“Getting caught with a knife can change your life. Too many young people’s lives are affected by knife crime so we’re taking a stand against carrying these dangerous weapons and to prevent young people from making decisions that could affect their futures.”

He said the issue is complex, but by working with schools and communities it can help keep youngsters safe and knife free.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “It is so important that real-life stories are shared with young people, so they can understand the life-changing consequences this could have on them.”