Report on weapons

Cash & Carry?
Young people, their friends and offensive weapons. 1996, 82pp. £5 (incl p&p)

This is one of our series of monographs about young people's lifestyles, compiled from data collected using the Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire.

It is an introduction to the findings being made by the Unit with respect to young people carrying weapons. Data collection began in May 1995, before the level of potential violence in and around schools was highlighted by the fatal stabbing of headteacher Philip Lawrence and the Dunblane massacre.

The report, based on questionnaire responses from young people aged between 11 and 16, is divided into two parts, entitled Young people, fear, and self-protection and Making connections.

In the first part it is shown that...

A quarter of all the young people rated safety in their home neighbourhood POOR OR VERY POOR after dark.

More than a quarter of the 12-13 year olds sometimes, often, or very often FELT AFRAID OF GOING TO SCHOOL because of bullying.

When they went out, a half of the 14-15 year olds FELT AFRAID OF BEING PHYSICALLY ATTACKED sometimes, often, or very often.

Almost a third of the 14-15 year old boys sometimes CARRIED DEFENSIVE OR POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE ITEMS for personal protection.

The second part examines the 14-15 year old group in more detail and uncovers links between carrying personal protection of the potentially offensive variety (gun, knife, etc.) and other lifestyle characteristics.

For example, it is found that people likely to carry protection are also...

* More likely to have a girlfriend or boyfriend
* More likely to smoke
* More likely to drink alcohol
* Less likely to do homework after school
* More likely to worry about various problems
* Likely to have a higher `income'
* More likely to play on arcade machines
* More likely to have experimented with illegal drugs

This research, which is continuing, is believed to be the first large-scale investigation in the UK into an uncomfortable weapon-carrying dimension within the younger strata of our society. The hope is that these data will support positive action towards creating safer environments everywhere.


Comments about SHEU

"Our use of the Health-Related Behaviour Questionnaire was commended as part of our accreditation for the National Healthy Schools Scheme." Headteacher

"You and the team have the evidence to show how young people's behaviour has or hasn't changed over time." 
Tribute from a Health Education Co-ordinator to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Education Co-ordinator

"Just to say a huge thank you for all your efforts in helping us with the Health survey amongst pupils. It has provided us with significant data which will be used across the school to help us improve. It helped us to obtain a healthy schools standard as well. I hope we can make this an annual feature as we can track the changing health of our pupils." Headteacher


"...the most comprehensive health education survey."

Daily Telegraph

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your work regarding writing and compiling the sex education survey. The survey was well executed and the schools have found their individual reports very helpful. The results of the survey have enabled the Local Campaign Group to justify the need for young men's campaigns and given us invaluable insight as to the thoughts and experiences of this target group."

Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Manager

"Many thanks for a major contribution to the health of children in the UK and elsewhere over many years and putting in place the continuation of the Unit." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Director of Public Health

"I would like to say that this survey was very useful and made me realise things about PE and health that I had never realised before......Food at school is groovy, especially if your school does Jamie Olivers School Dinners. Viva apples and thanks for the survey." Female pupil, 13 yrs old

Female pupil, 13yrs

Please could our College be part of the SHEU survey this academic year? We did it in 2016 and 2017 and found it incredibly informative and it helped us shape our PSHE provision.

Assistant Principal

"I very much value the contribution the Health Related Behaviour Survey has made to the public health agenda and feel confident it will continue to do so." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Director of Public Health

I've just spent a really interesting half an hour reading through our ...survey (report). Always food for thought and a good way to look at how we can improve.