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Touring sculpture helps raise awareness of violent crime

Published Friday, 03 May 2019

The huge Knife Angel sculpture, made of 100,000 confiscated knives, is due to move on to Birmingham today and agencies working together to address violent crime hope its impact will continue.

Knife angel

The 27-foot high Knife Angel, was created by artist Alfie Bradley as employed and commissioned by the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire.

The removal will begin from 4pm into the early evening before being transported to Victoria Square, Birmingham.

During the weeks while the sculpture has been on display in Coventry organisations have taken the opportunity to hold wider engagement to tackle violent crime and build on educational schemes already in place. It is estimated that around 40,000 people visited the Knife Angel.

Rashid Bhayat, of the Positive Youth Foundation said: “We supported an event at the Cathedral involving dozens of community members to help equip them to better understand working with young people in their communities.

“It’s important that people understand how a 14-year old child views contemporary society. Too often, certain elements of the media categorise younger people as intimidating when they are in public places or lazy or antisocial when they are in private spaces.

“We need to recognise and celebrate what is good about young people and all of the great things our young people are involved in across the city either through their own steam or supported by youth agencies”

“The Knife Angel has been a great way of particularly focussing our intention on safeguarding younger people.”

A community event is being organised on Thursday 16 May at St Peter’s Community Centre – Charles Street as part of efforts to bring all wider communities together. A violence summit was held back in January to bring agencies together.

Coventry Police Superintendent Phil Healy, said that the issues faced by communities are not just about policing but about wider effects such as health and life chances. 

“We need to get a wider involvement from partners and the public. There is a lot of good work already taking place and there has been a great deal of media attention on violent crime. The solutions are wide ranging everyone has a part to play. That’s what we have already been hearing over recent weeks.”

There are limited numbers available for the St Peter’s event and people who wish to attend are being asked to contact police engagement officer Peter Surgeon by e-mailing

The event is from 5pm to 7pm.

The Knife Angel has been supported locally by the Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry City Council, Coventry Police and the European City of Sport 2019 initiative.

Businesses in the city helped to fund the transportation and installation of the Knife Angel.

Hundreds of people have visited the impressive Angel and that the overwhelming feedback has been positive.

The Knife Angel’s time in Coventry has been supported by West Midlands Police, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry City Council, Positive Youth Foundation, Medwell Hyde, Deeley Group, Norman Hay, WM Housing Group, Wasps, Absolute Services Group, National Express, Buckingham Group Contracting, Cadent Gas, The Coventry and Saltem Ltd.

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