Knife Angel heads to the Welsh coast to promote anti-knife crime message

Shropshire's famous Knife Angel sculpture will make its way to the Welsh coast next week in a knife crime awareness drive.

The Knife Angel statue was created in Oswestry
The Knife Angel statue was created in Oswestry

The 27-foot sculpture, made from 100,000 confiscated knives, will take pride of place in Llys y Brenin Square, Aberystwyth, throughout June with community groups getting together to promote key prevention, anti-violence and anti-aggression messages.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, working alongside Dyfed-Powys Police, Aberystwyth Town Council and Ceredigion County Council, is championing the Knife Angel's month-long stay in the seaside town as a physical reminder of the effects of violence and aggression.

The sculpture - commissioned by the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry and created by artist Alfie Bradley – will be on display in the town until June 29.

It will be the second time that Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has welcomed the Knife Angel to the Dyfed-Powys Police force area, with its first visit being in Newtown, Powys in January 2020.

He said: “The Knife Angel is a reminder of the devastating impact of knife crime, and any form of violence and aggression has on families and communities.

“Whilst there has been a 105 per cent increase in knife crime in Wales over the last decade, rest assured that the Knife Angel has not been brought to Aberystwyth because of any major problem with this kind of crime in the area.

“However, we do acknowledge that knife crimes have taken place here within the last year. Although a proportion of these were domestic, not street-based, it is worrying that a small number of these involved suspects under the age of 18.

"I am pleased to see however that the Police and partners have come together over the last six-months to put interventions in place to divert children from knife crime.

“Prevention of crime and diversion away from crime is essential. We hope that the Knife Angel will greatly assist us in raising critical awareness of knife crime whilst creating a widespread intolerance to violent behaviour within our communities.”

Inspector Andy Williams of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “While Dyfed-Powys Police is one of the safest places to live and work in the country, we still see the devastating effect knife crime has on our communities.

“In July last year we had a murder in Ceredigion involving a knife, when John Bell died after being stabbed in Cardigan.

“That case showed the devastation knives can have, with the loss of a life and the impact that has on Mr Bell’s loved ones, with the man responsible rightly being sentenced to life in prison.

“The Knife Angel is a very dramatic and powerful sculpture that aims to inspire people not to turn to knife crime or even to carry a knife for protection.

“I would urge anyone to go and see it. Take your children and make a day of it to take in this poignant reminder of the dangers of violence and aggression, particularly when weapons are involved.”

Aberystwyth Town Mayor, Dr Talat Chaudhri said: "We welcome the Knife Angel to Aberystwyth and stand together with towns and cities where knife crime is a bigger problem than it is here. There is no place for violence of any kind in our community."

To find out more about how you, your community, school, college or university groups can get involved, contact the Commissioner’s Engagement Team on OPCC.Communication@dyfed-powys.police.uk.

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