Local leaders back the arrival of the Knife Angel, a sculpture dedicated to the victims of knife crime.
The Knife Angel has been brought to Liverpool by Rob Jackson, a nurse clinician at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals. Rob has worked for over 10 years in the emergency department and in that time has treated countless victims of knife crime.
Working alongside Merseyside Police, Everton in the Community and now Liverpool Cathedral, Rob visits schools and youth clubs to speak to children and young people about the dangers of knife crime. So far he has reached over 95,000 children and young people with his powerful talks.
Rob Jackson said: “I am delighted to welcome the Knife Angel to Liverpool. My role as a nurse clinician in the Royal means that unfortunately I do see incidents of this sort of violence, coupled with this is the impact this has on the victims’ families and loved ones.”
“I hope that its presence will really open up a conversation in our community about the impact of knife crime on both victims and their families in an attempt to try and help reduce knife crime in our city It has been a challenge to get it here and I would like to say a huge thank you to those who have helped bring it to Liverpool.”
Supporting the Knife Angel’s arrival, local leaders including Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust Aidan Kehoe, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Andy Cooke QPM, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive Officer of Everton Football Club, and Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool, are joining together to help promote the strong message behind the striking piece of artwork.
The Knife Angel was built by the British Iron Works Museum, located in Oswestry, Shropshire. Clive Knowles, their chief executive officer had a vision to build a sculpture made entirely from knives from a nationwide knife amnesty.
A total of 100,000 blunted blades were collected from 43 different police forces in the UK. Working with artist and sculptor, Alfie Bradley, the five and half tonne angel took two years to complete.
Families of victims of knife crime have also inscribed names of their loved ones which have been added to the piece of art.
The Knife Angel is due to be installed on Thursday 29 November and will stand proud in front of the Liverpool Cathedral until 31 January 2019 for members of the public to visit.
Aidan Kehoe, chief executive at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust said, “I am delighted that the Knife Angel is on view for local people, in such a prominent place in the city. Its presence represents the gravity of knife crime and acts as a strong message about how various community organisations are working together to reduce knife crime in our community.
I am extremely grateful and proud that one of our nurse clinicians, Rob Jackson has been such a leading force in bringing the Knife Angel to Liverpool.
Both Rob and the amazing team in our emergency department work tirelessly to provide care and support to those who sustain such life threatening injuries or in or more serious situations support loved ones who lose a relative under such tragic circumstances.”
Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Andy Cooke QPM said: “Merseyside Police is supportive of anything that prompts a discussion about knife crime and encourages people to stop and think about the devastating consequences it can have.
“We are committed to tackling knife crime across Merseyside, however we can’t do this alone and it’s vital that we work closely with our partners and the community.
“Education is essential and we regularly visit schools to reinforce the message that it is never acceptable for someone to carry a knife. I would urge anyone who believes that they know someone is carrying a knife or other bladed weapon to strongly discourage them from doing so. Everyone has a responsibility for this: police, partners, parents, families, teachers and friends.
"We use a variety of approaches to combat knife crime including making the most effective use of stop and search powers- a fundamental part of our efforts to make communities safer. This is done through an intelligence led approach to ensure it is correctly targeted and is a critical power in our efforts to tackle violent crime.
“We are determined to eradicate knife crime and remove these weapons from our streets and by taking a collaborative stance with our partners, we will continue to educate, enforce and act on any information given to us to bring those involved in this type of offending to justice.”
Richard Kenyon, Everton in the Community CEO, said: “We’re pleased to see the arrival of the Knife Angel in Liverpool and to have played a part in its journey to our city. The statue will help raise awareness about the importance of lowering knife crime.
“We have been working on the ‘Real Men Don’t Carry Knives’ campaign for over a year with great support from Anfield Boxing Club, LFC Foundation and Joanne Matthews from Liverpool City Council and run regular workshops, football festivals and awareness days to help tackle knife crime across Liverpool. The arrival of the statue is another step in the right direction to combatting these crimes and I would urge everyone to go to Liverpool Cathedral to see what is a really powerful piece of artwork.”
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