The Knife Angel, a huge statue made from 100,000 seized knives, will be on display in Lancashire throughout November 2021. The sculpture, created by the British Ironworks Centre to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour, will be hosted outside Blackburn Cathedral with a schedule of activity to combat knife crime set to take place between the 4th and 29th of November.
Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden have been working with partners from across Lancashire to bring the Knife Angel to Lancashire and to ensure that the project will benefit the whole of the county.
A civic opening ceremony, a serious violence conference and a pupils conference will form part of the activities planned for the Knife Angel's month long visit and a full calendar of events and activities will now be created to ensure that residents and professionals from across Lancashire will have the opportunity to get involved.
Det Ch Supt Sue Clarke, Head of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network said:
"While we are thankful that knife crime isn't as big a problem in Lancashire as it is in other areas of the country it is really important that we create opportunities to highlight the issue and what we can do to prevent it.
"Hosting the Knife Angel will create great opportunities to raise awareness, to work together with communities and to help unite professionals in joined up work to tackle knife crime in our county."
The Revd Canon Dr Rowena Pailing, Vice Dean & Canon Missioner at Blackburn Cathedral added:
"We are really excited to have the opportunity to host the Knife Angel at our cathedral and we look forward to welcoming people from across Lancashire to see it and to engage with the activities that will be taking place while the statue is with us."
Coun Mohammed Khan CBE, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, commented:
"The Knife Angel is a fantastic tool for engaging our local communities and have some meaningful discussions about combatting violent crime. The month-long project is for the benefit of the whole of Lancashire but I am proud that Blackburn with Darwen is hosting the sculpture. I know that our residents and community groups will make the most of the opportunity to stand together in solidarity against knife crimes.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden added:
"Knife crime is a blight on our communities and whatever we can do to tackle it is a step in the right direction.
"While I will continue to work closely with Lancashire Constabulary and our partners to tackle knife crime and bring offenders to justice, I also believe that education and community engagement are important tools in combatting this issue.
"Hosting the Knife Angel will create a number of opportunities that will help us to work with our communities, with local schools and colleges and with professionals to make a difference and to stop people picking up knives in the first place."
Once in place at Blackburn Cathedral, the Knife Angel can be viewed at any time. Partners are now working together to organise activities and events that will take place throughout November. These will be promoted in the run-up to the Knife Angel's visit along with details on how to book spaces to take part or attend.
The Knife Angel will be visiting Lancashire as part of its national Anti-Violence Tour. Further information about the Knife Angel, its history and the tour can be found on the British Ironwork Centre's website.