Knife angel to come to Queens Gardens
The Knife Angel stands 27 feet tall and is a national monument against violence and aggression, and a memorial to those who have lost their lives to knife crime, with some victims' families having messages engraved on the wings.
The impressive sculpture was made at the British Ironworks Centre in Shropshire, by sculptor Alfie Bradley, from over 100,000 knives donated to the Ironworks, collected through police force surrender campaigns across the country.
The sculpture was originally housed at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry and has been a popular tourist attraction outside Liverpool Cathedral since October 2018 when it went on display in the city.
Now it will grace Hull city centre from Friday 1 February, to raise awareness of knife crime.
Community Beat Manager PC Christian Sewell of Hull Central Neighbourhood Policing Team has been working with Kayleigh Pepper, whose brother was killed in a knife crime in 2015 on Egton Street in Hull.
PC Sewell said, "This is a real achievement for the team, and for Kayleigh, who have been working hard to bring the Knife Angel to Hull. It was touch and go for a while as structural engineers had to make sure the location was right to house the huge sculpture, but we’re thrilled we will able to welcome it to our city.
"It is an extremely impressive and moving piece of art. Knife crime is very much in the public conscience and this amazing piece of art will hopefully make people think about the dangers of carrying and using knives.
"While the sculpture is in Hull, we are rolling out our school programme as part of the #NoMoreKnives campaign to educate children of the danger of knife crime. The more young people that are aware of the dangers the more we can prevent young people losing their lives in knife crime.
"We have been doing talks in Hull's schools since September 2018 and now with £80,000 worth of funding from our Police and Crime Commissioner, we are continuing to take our talk and campaign out to all schools in the Humberside Police area."
Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property said: "The #NoMoreKnives campaign is extremely important in educating our young people to the dangers of knife crime and the council is pleased to be able to support the Knife Angel sculpture to raise awareness of this important issue."
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said, “I am pleased to see the Knife Angel sculpture coming to our area. In addition to the funding recently secured by my office this will help to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives.
“Some people are turning to the use of weapons with much greater ease than they used to do and we've got to do something about it.
“This isn't a problem policing will ever solve in itself, it requires a multifaceted approach and a broad partnership with parents, the schools, the police and everyone working together.
"We have to change these people's views around carrying weapons and how easily they are tempted to turn to violence and what is acceptable public behaviour."
The Knife Angel will be transported to Hull from Liverpool thanks to the generosity of Andrew Johnson Construction Ltd who is delivering and installing the sculpture completely free of charge. The City of Culture volunteers will be on hand during the day to talk to people about the sculpture and Hull City Council are funding night-time security.
Humberside Police will also be supporting a national weapons surrender this spring by asking anyone with any form of weapon to hand it in to their local police station. Details will become available closer to the time.
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