By Rachael Grealish
Forget Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels, the Knife Angel has arrived in Cumbria.
The Angel is a huge statue made from 100,000 seized knives and will be on display in Cumbria for the next two months – first in Carlisle in December 2021 and then in Barrow in January 2022.
The sculpture was created by the British Ironworks Centre to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour and from today, Wednesday December 1, is being hosted in Carlisle’s city centre, by the Market Cross Monument.
The Knife Angel will be visiting Cumbria as part of its national Anti-Violence Tour.
Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Police, Carlisle City Council and Barrow Borough Council have worked to bring the unique artwork to the county.
Sergeant Chris Blain of Cumbria Police said:”We are pleased that the Knife Angel will be coming to Carlisle in December. The visit of the Angel will provide a platform to launch a month-long awareness programme in schools and other organisations.
“We would like to reassure the public that knife related incidents have not risen significantly, however we must maintain awareness of the consequences that knife crime has on individuals, families, and communities.”
The visit of the statue coincides with the police’s ‘Operation Divan’ which looks at the dangers and consequences of carrying knives or weapons.
The sculpture is on an anti-violence tour of the UK with the aim of visiting as many cities as possible, Carlisle is the furthest North the Angel has travelled and the organisers say they are pleased to see it travel so far as are Cumbrian officials.
Cumbria County Councillor, Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “Cumbria County Council welcomes the receipt of the Knife Angel in both Carlisle, and later in Barrow as a poignant memorial of the devastating effects of knife crime.
“Carlisle Local Committee have also agreed funding to support an education programme in schools which will be rolled across the City in the spring time.
“Christmas will be a difficult time for the families of victims to this terrible act and we hope that those families can welcome the angel as a beacon of hope”.
Cumbria Police is holding Knife/Weapon amnesty during December where members of the public are encouraged to hand in weapons anonymously.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “We may not have the scale of knife crimes of some big city areas but sadly we do have some.
“Knife crime can have a devastating impact on victims, families and communities.
“I know that we can get a bit familiar with messages about crime and knife carrying which is why I think that bringing the Knife Angel to Cumbria is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of knife crime and the knock-on effects.”
Police urge an victim of a knife crime to report it to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Those who do not wish to report it to the Police, Victim Support can provide information and advice to victims of any crime, they can be contacted on 0300 303 0157 between 8am-6pm.
Further information about the Knife Angel, its history and the tour can be found on the British Ironwork Centre’s website.