Knife Angel arrives at new home - with pictures
Shropshire's knife angel is now standing tall in its home for the month, the city of Middlesborough in the north east.
Anti-knife campaigner, Theresa Cave, whose son Christopher,was murdered on Teeside in 2003, campaigned to get the 20ft sculpture to the town.
Cleveland has the ninth highest level of knife crime per 1,000 population in the UK.
The knife angel was created by artist, Alfie Bradley, at the British Ironwork Centre at Oswestry as part of the centre's Save a Life, Surrender your Knife campaign.
Clive Knowles chairman, said: "The knife crime figures for Clevelend are truly shocking number and prompted people in the county to raise better awareness.
"Because of this, we felt as if they could really benefit from hosting the Angel to use its powerful presence to help launch new initiatives and programmes to turn the tide on violent behaviour."
Earlier this week the Absolute Services Group, provided by the Cleveland City Council, travelled down to Shropshire to haul the 20ft sculpture across the country to Middlesbrough’s Centre Square.
"Getting the sculpture to the town took the concerted efforts of anti-knife crime campaigner Theresa Cave, who leads the Chris Cave Foundation and POINT7 Anti-Violence Programme, in conjunction with the Police and Crime Commissioner of Cleveland Barry Coppinger, and the Town Council," Mr Knowles said.
"Throughout the Angel’s stay, the town is conducting 28 days of educational workshops and programmes for their youth. These workshops and programmes will not only include school, college and university students but will also encapsulate ex-offenders and more vulnerable youth. They have also agreed to submit a full summary report following the Angel’s visit, which will detail everything achieved through their educational efforts as well as any future plans they have to help continue them."
Local Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger said: "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, we are keen to prevent the escalation of serious violence.
"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."
The statue was unveiled in Middlesborough yesterday morning. It will remain there throughout August before going onto Rochester Cathedral in Kent, Derby Cathedral and then Chester Cathedral in November.