Knife Angel sculpture unveiled in Chesterfield – this is how long it’ll be in town

The Knife Angel sculpture has been unveiled in Chesterfield town centre.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 12:55 pm

Made from up to 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife banks during police amnesties across the country, the eye-catching 27ft monument will be located next to the Crooked Spire until October 26.

The artwork was created by sculptor Alfie Bradley to highlight the impact knife crime has on people and communities.

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The Knife Angel in Chesterfield. Picture by Brian Eyre.

Many people had turned out to look at the Knife Angel when the Derbyshire Times visited Rykneld Square on Tuesday morning.

Among them were Susan and David Oakley, who used to live in Chesterfield before moving down south.

Susan told the Derbyshire Times her cousin was sadly killed in a knife attack around 15 years ago.

“I know all too well that knife crime has a devastating impact on people,” she said.

It's an impressive sight. Picture by Brian Eyre.

“It’s very important to reinforce the message that carrying a knife is unacceptable – and I think this sculpture really gets people talking and thinking.”

David described the Knife Angel as ‘absolutely amazing’.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said she was ‘proud’ to see the Knife Angel in the town and added: “Artwork like this is so powerful.

“We’re confident the Knife Angel will draw many people into the town centre over the next few weeks.”

David and Susan Oakley looking at the sculpture. Picture by Brian Eyre.

Coun Jill Mannion-Brunt, the borough council’s cabinet member for health and well-being, said: “The Knife Angel not only serves as a poignant memorial to reflect on and commemorate lives lost through violence across the UK, it also serves to engage people and help educate them to ensure that knife crime does not become an issue locally.

“There will also be a series of engaging sessions for young people including community theatre that aims to further strengthen this message.”

The Knife Angel was last in Derbyshire in October 2019, when more than 200,000 people saw the sculpture outside Derby Cathedral.

Angelique Foster, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The Knife Angel is a powerful statement on the struggle to curb knife crime and prevent more families from suffering senseless pain and loss.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council leader, and Jill Mannion-Brunt, cabinet member for health and well-being, are impressed by the monument. Picture by Brian Eyre.

“The Knife Angel vividly reminds us not only of the devastating consequences of violence but also our collective responsibility to take action and change the future for the next generation.

“I hope that the Knife Angel presence in Chesterfield provides educational value for many families and youth organisations by helping to initiate difficult conversations about violence and knife crime and questioning the tragic loss of so many lives.”

Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, who is in charge of policing in the north of Derbyshire, added “We are very happy to be supporting the visit of the Knife Angel to Chesterfield.

“It gives people the opportunity to reflect on the implications that violent crime has on the victims, families and in fact all those affected by knife crime in particular.

“We had lots of feedback asking to try and bring the powerful monument back to the north of the county and so we are pleased that Chesterfield has been chosen as the latest location.

“Our work to prevent violent crime, particularly those crimes involving weapons such as knives, continues through the year with intelligence-led operations and supporting the education of young people in particular in the dangers of carrying a knife.”

The Knife Angel arriving in Chesterfield. Picture by Tony Wilson.

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The sculpture being put in place.