Shropshire Knife Angel may never be revealed because six police forces failed to contribute

A huge angel sculpture made of blades confiscated or handed in as part of a knife amnesty may never be revealed because six police forces have failed to get behind it.

The Shropshire Knife Angel is made from about 100,000 knives
The Shropshire Knife Angel is made from about 100,000 knives

The British Ironwork Centre in Aston, near Oswestry, which is behind the project, began supplying knife banks to the 43 police forces across England and Wales two years ago, with the backing of the Home Office, and since then more than 100,000 knives have been taken off the streets.

But only 37 police forces have contributed.

Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent, South Wales, Lincolnshire, Sussex and South Yorkshire are yet to send the centre any knives, leaving the project at a standstill.

It was hoped the sculpture would go on display on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square, but Clive Knowles, chairman of the centre, has refused to unveil it until the remaining forces have sent in knives.

He said: “We can’t even try and take the sculpture out of the studio until we get the remaining forces to action their surrender amnesty.

Originally we pledged to get 100,000 knives off the streets with the backing of all 43 forces. It’s been created against and to raise awareness of Britain’s issues with violent knife crime, so we’re not able to unveil it until all constabularies are on board with it.”

Mr Knowles said his particular issue with the lack of support is that it comes at a time when the latest figures on knife crime show a nine per cent rise nationally.

He said: “How can police forces not support this at a time when the crime is on the up, especially when a company is willing to support and fund the bins and banks. “If a fatal stabbing happens in one of these forces areas, how will a chief constable explain to families that they failed to hold an amnesty that was being funded already? That will be a very difficult conversation.

“We can’t rest now, not this close to the finish line. The project will never fulfil its destiny if this doesn’t happen.”

The aim of the statue, created by sculptor Alfie Bradley, aims to raise countrywide awareness of Britain’s knife crime epidemic with its ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’ slogan.

Families affected by knife crime have also had the names of loved ones inscribed on a knife in the angel.

Dyfed-Powys Police were unavailable for comment. South Yorkshire and Gwent Police said they were unaware of the project.

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Comments for: "Shropshire Knife Angel may never be revealed because six police forces failed to contribute"


What's the problem?

If they must they put a label on it saying that some did not contribute, but all others did.

why can't it go on show as so many victims and relatives think it is such a good idea. It would be a reasonable project for the Home Office to support if required. Am I missing something?


It's an amazing piece of artwork. I understand Mr Knowes' stance, but it would be a great shame not to display it, given that the majority of forces *have* got behind it.


It does not make any sense at all. Not sure Mr Knowles should be dictating to police forces? Display it in your studio if you wish but this has had more than enough publicity already.


What a shame! So 6 forces didn't support this scheme so why penalise the 37 who did? I think Mr Knowles has got this very wrong - he should go ahead despite the 6 and use the ensuing publicity to embarrass the 6!

K White

Why not, that is the Shropshire way when you don't get things your own way, try and embarrass people or organisations, the Shrops Star and Radio Shrops have made it their trademark style of journalism.

jim jams

And your way would be? Just go into a corner and sulk like a baby, maybe?


Perhaps they could replace the 'missing' knives with the dummies, dollies and teddies that Mr Knowles has obviously thrown out of his pram.


I hope this is not the case, this marvelous piece of work really must be seen.

I saw it a few weeks ago and it bought a lump to my throat, I could not get that image out of my mind for days, the expression on the face and the gesture of the hands is very moving.

It is a powerful sculpture that should be seen by everyone.

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