Manchester Anti-Violence Bee Monument
In collaboration with the Greater Manchester Police (GMP), we will be creating an anti-violence monument to highlight the city’s stance against all forms of violence. In July 2020, a 7.5 tonne lorry arrived here at the Ironworks to deliver thousands of weapons – including knives and guns – which have all been collected from the streets of Manchester. All weapons were collected as part of the GMP’s ‘Forever Amnesty’. The knife and gun banks used for the amnesty were designed and created here at the Centre and have been utilised as a continual programme to encourage and support the public to surrender their dangerous weapons in order to clear the streets of violent and aggressive behaviour.
Pictured: Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre & Paul Nolan, GMP Sergeant (Violence Reduction Unit)
Pictured: Knife Bank Provided to Manchester in 2016
Pictured: "Forever Amnesty" Knife Banks Supplied to GMP in 2019
Pictured: Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, Paul Nolan, GMP Sergeant (Violence Reduction Unit) and Roger Edwards, GMP Detective Inspector
Manchester are the first location in the UK to develop and commit to an ongoing amnesty project like this, which the GMP call their "Forever Amnesty" project, with all collected weapons to be used to create an anti-violence monument for the city. The variety and sheer volume of weapons delivered to the Ironworks was a stark reminder that our need to suppress violence is a continual effort that requires a continual focus. The piece that we create for Manchester will be their first and only anti-violence monument created from recovered weapons, so it will be entirely unique on many fronts.
Taking inspiration from Manchester’s bee symbolism, the monument will take on the form of a giant bee, watching over the city and providing a reminder of their stance against violent and aggressive behaviour. It will also be used by the GMP and the wider region as an important educational tool. A suitable location for the monument is still yet to be decided upon but, of course, it will be placed in a very prominent position where the maximum number of residents and visitors will be able to view and learn of its meaning.
Concept art for Manchester’s Anti-Violence Monument, crafted from guns & knives collected by the GMP
In 2017, a horrific attack took place at the Manchester Arena whereby a shrapnel-laden bomb was detonated following an Ariana Grande Concert. Twenty-two people lost their lives and over 800 people were injured as a result, leaving families and the city at large completely devastated. With Manchester’s anti-violence monument symbolising the city’s complete intolerance to all forms of violent behaviour, we wanted to use its creation as an opportunity to reach out to all the families affected by the shocking and deeply saddening event that took place at the Manchester Arena on the 22nd of May 2017.
We have sent out a public invite, offering all affected families the opportunity to inscribe something onto the sculpture, allowing them to immortalise their lost loved one whilst simultaneously standing up against violence. The inscription will include the name of a lost loved one or the name of someone who was injured during the attack. If you are an individual or one of the families affected by the events that took place on the 22nd of May 2017, please get in touch with on 0800 6888 386 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your inscription further.