The Knife Angel is coming to Centre Square in Middlesbrough!
The Knife Angel - or the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression - will be in Centre Sqaure in Middlesbrough from Tuesday 6th August to Monday 2nd September.
What is the Knife Angel?
The British Ironwork Centre, working with artist Alfie Bradley, wanted to create a sculpture made completely out of knives to grab attention and bring the issue of knife crime to the front of society’s consciousness.
They contacted all 43 UK police forces, with permission from the Home Office, to ask them to conduct knife surrenders in their local police force areas.
Weapons of all shapes and sizes were collected - from standard kitchen knives and flick pocket knives to Samarai swords, knuckle dusters and martial arts weapons.
The weapons were used to create the 27ft sculpture with an impressive set of wings created from the blades. Some of the blades are inscribed with the names of lost loved ones of the 80 or so families who supported the project.
The Angel is currently on a tour around the country and has spent time in Liverpool, Hull, Birmingham and Coventry.
Why bring the Angel to Cleveland?
The British Ironwork Centre reached out to police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners to ask if they would like to host the Knife Angel in their area.
Cleveland has the ninth highest levels of knife crime in the country and while we do not have the gang-related violence of major metropolitan centres, PCC Barry Coppinger is keen to prevent the escalation of serious violence.
Mr Coppinger has worked with Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough Council and The Chris Cave Foundation to make the arrangements to bring the Angel to Cleveland. This was achieved with support from EDF Energy, PD Ports and Tees Valley Community Foundation.
Not only will the Angel be a fantastic spectacle that will attract visitors from across the North East, but it will kick start a range of education presentations and engagement to warn young people about the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
Who are the Chris Cave Foundation?
Chris Cave was only 17 years old when he was murdered in a knife attack in Redcar in 2003. In his memory, his mum Theresa established the Chris Cave Foundation to raise money for projects around the country in efforts to help end violence on the streets and give young people something to look forward to in their futures.
The foundation offers support and comfort and advice to those who have lost a loved one to murder or manslaughter and offers professional pier support.
The Foundation created the POINT7 programme to give students a broader understanding of the ‘real’ effects on the lives of ‘real’ people of weapon-related crime. POINT 7 is a powerful and interactive program that shows the consequences and the ripple effect of knife / gun crime, it also covers cyber bullying and other topics related to violent crime. The program is free and has been welcomed accross the country.
Theresa has been involved in the development of the Knife Angel since 2013 and has been instrumental in bringing the sculpture to the region.
Key Events during the Angel's Visit
Tuesday 6th August 2019
Knife Angel is welcomed to Centre Square in Middlesbrough by PCC Barry Coppinger, Chief Constable Richard Lewis, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston and knife crime campaiger Theresa Cave.
Wednesday 14th, 21st and 28th August
Facepainting and arts and crafts.
Wednesday 14th August 2019
The Graffiti Kings will be in Centre Square in Middlesbrough for an exclusive street art workshop to help bring out the best in young people and even discover hidden talents.
The workshop will begin at 11:30 at Centre Square in Middlesbrough.
Saturday 31st August 2019
The Chris Cave Foundation are hosting a multifaith vigil to remember those who have lost their lives or suffered injury through knife crime and to extend a hand to their family and friends. Proceedings will begin at 19:30.