The iconic Knife Angel is set to be welcomed to the city of Lichfield in a bid to raise awareness around the dangers of knife crime.
On 1 July, the 27-foot sculpture will be rolled out in the city centre and will see us working alongside the Lichfield District Council to talk with local people about the topic.
The Knife Angel is made up of 100,000 knives and blades that have been confiscated by police forces up and down the country. The sculpture will be in the city centre as part of a national tour, alongside a month of education and awareness activities on knife crime.
It comes after we recovered more than 170 knives as part of a week of action in Staffordshire in May, which saw people anonymously dropping the weapons into amnesty bins across the county.
We also took part in 35 educational visits as part of the #DitchTheBlade campaign this month, which saw officers speaking to 3,000 young people and their parents or carers about the dangers of carrying a knife and the support services available if they feel pressured to carry one.
Chief Inspector Matthew Morgan, from the Lichfield local policing team (LPT), said: “We are committed to tackling knife crime in Staffordshire and supporting local initiatives like the Knife Angel.
“Between 2015 and 2016, a total of 1,800 knives were surrendered across the county and have since been used to make up the sculpture.
“Surrender bins for the safe disposal of knives will be available at Lichfield Police Station and near to the sculpture whilst it is in the city.
“The education and engagement activities organised encourage open and honest discussions about knife crime. We also need parents to speak children about the issues, about their thoughts around it and explain the consequences of carrying a knife.
“While some young people pick up a knife to feel safer, they don’t realise that carrying it makes them more likely to get into serious danger. A knife can escalate things way out of your control, and make a bad situation much worse.
“I would encourage residents of Lichfield and the surrounding area to come and see the Knife Angel, engage with officers and our partners and give a little time to reflect upon what they see and hear in what is a really thought-provoking subject.”
Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Councillor Richard Cox said: “The Knife Angel is visually extremely striking and thought-provoking.
“Our aim is to prevent people from carrying knives through education, by explaining how lives can be destroyed and I hope many residents from across Lichfield District, neighbouring boroughs and districts throughout the Midlands will come and see it and help raise awareness.”