06/08/2019

27ft Knife Angel Sculpture Unveiled in Middlesbrough

A 27ft sculpture that highlights the losses and consequences of knife crime has been unveiled in Middlesbrough.

Knife Angel 6/8 The Knife Angel stands tall in the town’s Centre Square and is made of over 100,000 weapons collected by police forces from across the country.

It is the first time the Angel has been displayed in the North East and its arrival was marked at an official ceremony this morning, opened by Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger and closed by Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston. Young people from Trinity Dance gave a moving contemporary dance performance, and Choir, Local Voices sang A Song of Peace.

Attendees also heard from Theresa Cave, from the Chris Cave Foundation, whose son Chris was just 17 when he was murdered in Redcar in 2003. His name is engraved on one of the blades that make the sculpture alongside other names and messages from loved ones.

The Knife Angel will leave Middlesbrough on 2nd September, and during its visit, youth engagement activities and other operational action by Cleveland Police will take place to raise awareness and educate on the consequences of knife crime.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner worked alongside Middlesbrough Council to bring the monument to the area, which was created by sculptor Alfie Bradley and the British Ironworks Centre.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “The arrival of the Knife Angel is an emotional time for victims’ families, but I know that bringing it to Cleveland is so important for them as it stands as a beacon for educating people on knife crime. It’s been a real team effort to get the sculpture to the area and I’m pleased that we are the first place in the North East to host it, with only four other places displaying the Angel.

“We hope thousands will come and visit the Knife Angel, and I would like to thank everyone involved including sponsors PD Ports, EDF Energy and Tees Valley Community Foundation.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Knife crime blights communities and destroys lives.

“We’re delighted to host the sculpture in Middlesbrough, and look forward to welcoming 1,000’s of visitors from across the North East to Centre Square in August.

“Such a beautiful piece of art carries with it a powerful message about the senseless loss that accompanies all knife crime.”

Theresa Cave from the Chris Cave Foundation said: “Theresa Cave said: “It is very emotional for me and other families to see the sculpture in Middlesbrough. I’ve been involved since it was first built and I know how important it is as a tool to raise awareness of the impact of knives. I’m delighted that people will get the chance to see it in person, especially as it is the first time that it has come to the North East.”

Cleveland Police Chief Constable, Richard Lewis, added: “It’s humbling to see the Knife Angel and think that the weapons have been removed from UK streets. Our efforts continue to prevent and tackle knife crime, and it is a key focus of our work to protect vulnerable people going forward. Incidents in Cleveland are reducing, but this will only continue if we can educate communities on the dangers and bringing the Knife Angel to Middlesbrough will help us do this.”