Knife Crime and the Knife Angel

Posted 30.09.2019

The iconic Knife Angel will be in Derby from 1st to 30th October 2019. Stakeholder Managers join a team of Marshalls to explain the significance of the Knife Angel and how we can all play our part in reducing knife crime.  The Knife Angel is a National Monument against Violence and Aggression and is supported by all 43 UK Police Forces.

It is no coincidence that the majority of knife related crimes takes place in neighbourhoods suffering from huge social disadvantage and disinvestment.  The causes of knife crime are complex and the solutions multifaceted.

Building Better Opportunities supports local projects and organisations to tackle the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth. It aims to help the most disadvantaged in our community by:

  • Helping the most disadvantaged overcome barriers to connect with learning and work
  • Tackling social exclusion and helping to develop cohesive societies
  • Focussing on the capabilities of each individual, building confidence and self-worth
  • Leading to better coordinated services
  • Creating new opportunities for learning and work.

Derbyshire Police are spearheading a multi-agency campaign called Project Zao, which aims to prevent causalities and stop vulnerable young people from engaging in knife related violence.  The Knife Angel was created by the British Ironwork Centre and sculptor Alfie Bradley to illustrate the scale of knife crime affecting the UK.

There is an overwhelming tide of public opinion that wants to see this incredible national monument “fulfil its destiny”, in raising countrywide awareness of the epidemic that has now become knife crime.  This scourge and ever increasing problem is currently going largely unchallenged, with more and more weapons surfacing on our streets.

The Knife Angel was created for one purpose only, to focus a spotlight on this national embarrassment, both our government and our educational system need to accept there’s far more to be done, and grasp this nettle.  The Knife Angel is 27 feet high and made from 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife banks during police surrenders across the country.

Knife crime has risen across Nottinghamshire by nine percent – with 895 serious crimes involving blades or sharp instruments.  The highest peak is in the number of assaults causing injury, which rose from 383 to 436 offences (year ending March 2019).

The number of knife point robberies across the county also rose from 330 offences to 334, with a police robbery team formed in May to bring the number down.  The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that Nottinghamshire attends more knife crime incidents than both Leicestershire and Derbyshire Police.  However, both Leicestershire and Derbyshire have seen steeper rises over the year, compared to Nottinghamshire remaining more stable.

Violent crime has soared to a new record high in Derbyshire – with 45 acts of violence recorded each day, and Derbyshire police say they plan tackle the problem with new targeted patrols and knife sweeps in public places.  The force recorded a total of 16,562 cases of violence against the person in 2018 – the highest number since records began in 2007.  The number of serious crimes involving knives or other sharp objects was also at its highest level for any single year since 2011.

Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) is one of 18 nationally to receive a share of a £35m Home Office grant to establish a specialist Violence Reduction team (VRU) to tackle violent crime and prevent young people from turning to violence. One of the key priorities of the VRU is to steer young people away from crime and violence by providing positive alternatives.

The Violence Reduction Unit, overseen by the PCC as chair of the VRU Strategic Board, brings together specialists from the Police, NHS, County and City Council, BBO Stakeholder Managers, Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, Education, Public Health England and the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

The VRU works closely with the Police to build on the success of the current Knife Crime Strategy, which already sees partners working together in a pan-agency agreement to support prevention, early intervention, youth engagement and enforcement activity.  The Unit aims to treat violence as a public health issue by responding to the social, economic, and cultural problems, closely linked to crime and taking a holistic approach to ensure communities are more resilient, healthier and safer.

The Knife Angel will arrive in Derby on 1st October.  Dismantling will take place on 31st October 2019.

British Ironwork Centre – the Knife Angel
Nottinghamshire’s Violence Reduction Unit
Knife crime rises to almost 900 offences in Nottinghamshire in one year
Knife Crime causes and solutions : what the experts say
Derby Telegraph report: alarming figures show record high of violent crime in Derbyshire
BBC report: the places knife crime is rising fastest



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