Getting the Knife Angel to Birmingham
Following our national plea to get the Knife Angel hosted by every city nationwide, we wrote letters to all city councils in the UK. Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, responded to one of these letters by saying that they are very keen to host the Angel and will be discussing the formal internal process of getting it there in the coming weeks. With the recent rise in the number of knife crimes committed in Birmingham, we are exceptionally thrilled by this news and will be strongly campaigning for the Angel to be hosted there as soon as possible.
The Knife Angel, The National Monument against Violence and Aggression
Currently, the Angel is set to be hosted in Coventry outside of the Cathedral Ruins for the entirety of the Easter period, with many other cities across the UK stepping forward to show interest in hosting the sculpture next. Despite this, we are hoping to formally approach Coventry to ask them if they would be willing to only host the sculpture up until, and including, the Easter weekend so it can make its way to Birmingham as a priority, given the severity of the city’s current situation.
In the coming weeks, Clive Knowles will be meeting with the West Midlands Crime Commissioner, who covers both the Birmingham and Coventry area, to discuss the logistics of the sculpture’s possible move from Coventry to Birmingham. There have been a few whispered locations for the sculpture to be hosted so far including Birmingham Cathedral, the Bullring and outside the City Council. Birmingham’s knife crime statistics currently equate to an average of 9 incidents per day, a 19% increase from previous years. With this percentage continuing to rise, educating and making our youth better aware of knife related aggression and violence is at its highest importance yet.
Knife Angel in Hull Queen’s Gardens (Photograph by Daniel Britton)
Recognised as the National Monument against Violence and Aggression, the Knife Angel was a collaboration between the Home Office, all 43 UK police constabularies, families of victims and ourselves. Created from over 100,000 seized blades, the Angel represents far more than just the UK’s intolerance to violent and aggressive behaviour. It is also a memorial to all the lives lost at the hand of a blade and an important point of tuition to educate our youth about the effect that these acts of brutality have on the victim, their families and the perpetrator involved.
Given the constant increase in knife related attacks across the UK, initiating discussions and debates surrounding these issues among our youth has become an absolute necessity. The Knife Angel offers the perfect point of tuition as it not only sparks debate and thought, but it also highlights the sheer number of lives lost and affected by knife related violence. It is the perfect visual to provoke change and to allow the West Mercia Police to continue their ‘LifeOrKnife’ campaign, whereby it is their aim to ensure every child in the West Midlands has a conversation with parents, teachers or peers about the effects of knife crime.
By beginning these discussions in schools through shifting social taboos and changing mind-sets, there is hope that the tide can be turned on this national blight. Our youth need to be taught that, even through times of great stress and tension, violence and aggression is not the answer. With enough community effort and focus on addressing these issues, changes will be made and the volume of these violent acts will decrease.