British Ironwork Centre's anti-knife campaign goes to the Home Office
The Shropshire businessman behind the Save a Life, Surrender your Knife campaign has revealed his plans to take one million blades off Britain’s streets.
Clive Knowles, from the British Ironwork Centre, visited the Home Office this week to tell officials about his campaign.
He also took with him news of the campaign by the Express & Star, the Shropshire Star's sister paper, calling for tougher sentences for anyone found carrying a knife
And he provided an update on his nationwide drive to site knife amnesty banks in towns and cities across the UK.
Some of the tens of thousands of knives that have already been handed in or confiscated have been turned into a spectacular Knife Angel sculpture at the Oswestry visitor attraction by sculptor Alfie Bradley.
Following the Home Office meeting, Mr Knowles said: “The success in enabling numerous surrenders and amnesties across the UK has been a long and sometimes difficult journey.
“Regardless, we have accomplished the original objective in collecting 100,000 blades in order to create the UK’s only national monument against violence and aggression, the Knife Angel.
“We went on to discuss the continuing and alarming national rise in knife crime statistics and how all parts of the UK are affected. We noted the shocking figures relating to fatalities in 2017 and how this may well be the worst year yet for actual deaths from knife-related violence.
“We discussed our continuing support and the fresh commitment to assisting police forces until we reach one million blades.
“These blades will be used to create an enormous plinth, a plinth that will ultimately be used as the Knife Angel’s permanent home here within the grounds of Shropshire’s only sculpture park.
“To conclude, a letter will be circulated from the Home Office to all 43 British police forces, allowing them to know of the renewed and continued support available and the new one million knife ambition going forward.”
Police forces across the UK have given confiscated blades to the Ironwork Centre to enable the Knife Angel to be finished.
There have been a number of knife-related deaths in the West Midlands and Mr Knowles has been in discussions with leaders in Black Country boroughs who want the sculpture to help their work in persuading people to disarm.
Walsall Council and West Midlands Police are in discussions to have the Knife Angel sculpture displayed for 28 days in Walsall Town Centre.
Enquiries began back in November after the murder of 19-year-old Reagan Asbury at a boxing event at Walsall Town Hall. Reagan, from Pelsall, was attacked after violence broke out at the boxing event on October 14, and a post mortem examination confirmed he died from a wound to his neck.
Model James Brindley was also murdered when he was on his way home from a night out in Walsall.
And last week pensioner Anne James, 74, died after being stabbed at her Walsall home. Her grandson Greg Irvin, aged 25, from Walsall Wood, was charged with murder.