Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has welcomed the arrival of the Knife Angel to Nuneaton town centre.
Created by sculptor Alfie Bradley in conjunction with the British Ironwork Centre, the Knife Angel has been created from 100,000 seized blades collected by 43 police constabularies. The sculpture is multi-purpose, helping to educate communities about the negative impacts of knife crime whilst also acting as a poignant memorial to those who have lost their lives to knife crime.
Funding from the Commissioner helped bring the statue to Warwickshire as part of its national tour. Its arrival marks a month-long focus on preventing violence and aggression, with a wide range of activities accompanying its visit to encourage everyone to get involved.
Engagement awareness workshops for parents and students are taking place at primary and secondary schools across the area. There are also various community and school art projects, and knife surrender bins are in place at various locations across the borough for people to anonymously dispose of knives or other bladed items.
The launch event on June 1 included speech from by honoured guests Dr Neville Staple, founding member of The Specials, and his wife Sugary Staple. In 2019, Dr Staple and his wife released a song titled Put Away Your Knives, in tribute to grandson Fidel Glasgow.
Speaking at the event, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Knife crime is a very real concern for communities here in Nuneaton and across Warwickshire as a whole. Too many individuals, families and communities have been affected by knife crime and other forms of violence and the fear and concern it causes has ripple effects across the whole community. Put simply, every life lost through knife crime and violence is a tragedy that can be avoided.
“Policing, of course, has its part to play in tackling violent crime and particularly the serious organised crime groups that fuel a lot of that violence. However, it is not an issue that can be solved one arrest at a time and requires a wider effort across all partners and directly within our communities. That’s why I am pleased to be joining with all of the partners in bringing the Knife Angel to the borough.
“As a sculpture, the Knife Angel delivers a poignant reminder of the lives lost and the devastating impact knife crime has. But it’s also a fantastic focal point to start the important discussions on how, as a society, we can begin to challenge some of the underlying factors that allow violent crime to exist.
“My overriding hope is that we can use the Knife Crime’s visit to secure a lasting legacy by encouraging a grass roots movement to end serious violence. Together, we can make a difference and ensure we reduce crime, support victims and make communities safer.”
The Knife Angel will be located in Market Place, Nuneaton town centre until Friday, 30 June 2023. Anyone with an interest in photography at any level is also encouraged to enter the Knife Angel Photography Competition.
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