Southend-on-Sea Community Safety Partnership welcomes The Knife Angel

The National Monument Against Violence and Aggression, known as The Knife Angel, is bringing together community safety and voluntary partners across the city, to help send a powerful message about the impact of violent crime and to call for social change.

Made from 100,000 nationally sized knives and blades, standing at 27ft tall and weighing more than three tonnes, the touring sculpture will be on display in Southend-on-Sea from Monday 1st July 2024.

Located at the top of the high street outside the Odeon Cinema and WHSmith, The Knife Angel will be in place up to and including Sunday 28th July, when it will resume its journey and head to Luton.

Originating from the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry, and created in 2018 by sculptor Alfie Bradley, The Knife Angel has been on tour of towns and cities around Britain educating and raising awareness of the issues of knife crime and all forms of violence and aggression. It took two years to construct. Visit British Ironworks Centre

The poignant monument is also a memorial designed to remember those lives that have been lost through violent and thoughtless actions.

Throughout July, visitors will be able to view The Knife Angel as close as it is safely possible to do so. Organisers ask that visitors respect the monument and observe the surrounding fencing. The Knife Angel will be monitored by security, including 24/7, CCTV.

National Youth Anti Violence Educational Programme

National Youth Anti Violence Educational Programme

Community Safety partners are preparing a full education programme as part of The Knife Angel’s visit. The FREE, education and learning programme of anti-violence, youth engagement and public awareness workshops will include school visits, in-school workshops, music and photography, as well as first aid demonstrations and training.

Specific dates and times of all activities will be added to this page in the coming weeks.

A unique aspect of Southend's hosting is the spotlight on positive recreational activities available for children and young people across the city, with clubs offering a host of demonstrations and taster sessions throughout the month.

Public Opening Ceremony

Monday 1st July, 10am – Public Opening Ceremony – All welcome

Victoria Circus area at the top of the high street (outside the Odeon Cinema and WHSmith)

The city will officially welcome the statue, with a public opening ceremony on Monday 1st July at 10am, led by The Mayor of Southend. The event will bring together key community safety partners such as the High Sheriff for Essex, Southend-on-Sea City Council, Essex Police, and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, together with British Ironworks Centre Chairman, Clive Knowles, as well as young people and members of the public.

A number of important speeches, musical performances and other creative pieces will be performed. At the end of the ceremony, attendees will have an opportunity to tie a white ribbon to the fencing around The Knife Angel in unity and hope and to remember those lost to violent crime.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors

Many local businesses have come forward to sponsor The Knife Angel in Southend, covering areas such as transport and logistics, installation, and design and printing.

Southend Community Safety Partnership would like to publicly thank the following businesses:

You can read more here, about why these businesses have chosen to support The Knife Angel coming to Southend.

Edmunds Design and Construction – “EDC are honoured to be given the opportunity to be a part of the National Youth Anti-Violence Programme. We are a family run company and live locally, we believe in the investment of the younger generation and always aim to make a positive difference where we can. This event allows us to contribute back into the community in which we live and work. Knife crime devastates lives, families and the wider community. To take a stand of dignity with this monumental tribute should be recognised and applauded.”

Knife Angel Photo Competition

Knife Angel photo competition

Share your photographs of The Knife Angel when it is in Southend-on-Sea from 1st to 28th July.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or amateur snapper, this is your chance to showcase your creative skills. So, grab your camera or pick up your phone and get snapping.

The best images will form part of a prominent local exhibition. Some entries will also be broadcast on our social media platforms and in an album on our Flickr site. There will also be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

How to enter

Share your photo of the Knife Angel and simply tag Southend-on-Sea City Council on Instagram (southendcityc) or Facebook (SouthendCCOfficial) and use the hashtag #KnifeAngelSouthend

What is Knife Crime?

What is knife crime?

Knife crime is any crime involving a knife, or other pointed, bladed or sharp object.

Just carrying a knife somewhere in public like a school or supermarket can lead to a maximum conviction of four years in prison.

But more than this, knife crime has become synonymous with the issue of youth violence in the UK and its devastating consequences for young people, families and communities alike.

Knife crime includes the following:

  • Carrying a knife.
  • Threatening another person with a knife or bladed object.
  • Owning a type of knife that is banned.
  • Trying to buy knives under the age of 18.
  • Injuring another person with a knife or bladed object.
  • Fatally wounding someone with a knife or bladed object.
  • Intending to harm or injure someone with a knife or bladed object.
  • Committing burglary or robbery while carrying a knife as a weapon.

Self-defence or self-protection are not valid reasons for carrying a knife or offensive weapon, and this choice could have serious consequences for that person, including serious or fatal injury to themselves or others, and a criminal record.

Weapon Amnesty

Weapons Amnesty

A bladed and offensive weapon amnesty is arranged for July led by Essex Police and supported by Southend Community Safety Partnership, as part of The Knife Angel being in Southend-on-Sea. The amnesty gives members of the public the chance to dispose of a knife or bladed weapon anonymously.

The surrender secure bin will be located near to The Knife Angel. A permanent knife bin is located at Southend Police Station, Victoria Avenue, SS2 6ES

What can you do to help reduce knife crime and serious violence?

There are lots of things you can do!

Don’t carry a knife or weapon!

Carrying a knife has consequences for you, as well as the people around you. Your choices impact your friends and family too. Using a knife, even in self-defence, can ruin your life as well as someone else’s. Even being there when someone else uses a knife can get you in trouble.

Never chose a knife or weapon to solve a problem

Control the anger before it controls you! You might have good reasons for being angry, but what are you going to do with that anger? THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!

Talk to a trusted person who is not connected to the situation. It can be frightening when your anger overwhelms you. And it can be very difficult to manage it in the moment. You might feel like you don’t have any other choices, but you do and there are people that can support you to make a different choice.

Gun and knife crime | Childline

Resources for young people | The Ben Kinsella Trust

Fearless: Anonymous Reporting for young people

You are important - keep yourself safe

Carrying a knife will not keep you safe! Try to avoid situations which you feel could put you at risk. If you feel you could be in a threatening situation then it is best you try to leave or avoid that situation.

Friends should never pressure you into doing something you do not want to do- if they are then thinking about the effect, they may be having on your life is important - is it positive or negative?

Bystander

Don’t be a Bystander

A bystander is a person who observes or knows about a situation (such as carrying a knife). They know that the behaviour is wrong and is likely to have terrible consequences, such as serious injury or death.

An ‘Active Bystander’ takes steps that make a positive difference

Taking active steps to help a friend might prevent knife carrying in the first case. Intervening earlier if you know a friend is upset or in trouble with an individual or a gang could prevent an escalation to knife carrying behaviour.

If you know someone is in danger of being hurt or killed, an Active Bystander would be proactive and contact an organisation like Fearless, a dedicated youth service which is part of Crimestoppers. Visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org or 0800 555 111. YOU WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

Learn more

Knowledge is power! Come and talk to community safety partners throughout July and educate yourself. You can also look at the websites we have provided links to.

Educate others and talk about the issue

Not talking about something doesn’t make it go away. The best way to prevent knife crime and serious violence is through education. Ask your school or place of work to arrange a talk from someone who knows about knife crime. Helping to provide others with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and keep themselves safe is crucial in reducing knife crime and serious violence.

Get reporting and know where you can get help and support Reporting knife crime and serious violence is crucial. This can be achieved by ensuring you know how you or other people can report incidents anonymously.