"Knife Angel" brings a message to Chelmsford

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost.

An anti knife crime sculpture, the 'knife angel', has arrived in Chelmsford.

The 27ft angel, which is made from 100 thousand blunted blades, travels around the country to raise awareness of the consequences of knife violence. It is on display in the city's Central Park.

Statistics show offences involving a knife have doubled in Essex since 2018, rising to more than 1,500 in 2020.

Over the past couple of months education, outreach and workshops to spread its anti-violence message have taken place.

The visit to the city was organised by Keep It 100 Essex.

The sculpture travels around the country Credit: ITV
Jo Robinson.

Jo Robinson's brother James was stabbed more than 100 times in Colchester in 2014. She now works to try to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives

"Kids please don't. Not only could you hurt yourself, but you could hurt someone else and that changes peoples lives forever," she said.

The sculpture represents intolerance to all forms of violent behaviour and is the only monument to travel the whole of the UK with a commitment to bring about social change.

Alfie Bradley the artist who created the sculpture blunted each knife before they went onto it. He said he was shocked at the weapons he was working with.

Towns and cities wanting to host the the Knife Angel must agree to 28 days of intensive youth anti-violence education.

One Essex mum who hopes the angel will make a difference in Charlotte. She didn't want to be fully identified . Her son is in prison, convicted of murder by joint enterprise after a man was stabbed

But her son was also a victim, of county lines.

To coincide with the hosting the sculpture, a knife amnesty has been planned with the message, ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’.

New knife bins will be placed around Chelmsford so that anyone with a weapon can dispose of it safely and without fear of prosecution.

Chelmsford City Council's Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, Cllr Rose Moore, hopes this anti-violence programme will have a lasting legacy.

“It's an honour for Chelmsford to host the Knife Angel; this stunning sculpture and its powerful anti-violence message will be a symbol of hope for our city and its presence in Central Park a sign that we want much more for our young people," she said