Thames Valley Police, Slough Borough Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley are joining forces for a month of action to tackle violent crime in Slough, as the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression arrives in the town.
Referred to as the ‘Knife Angel’, the 27ft sculpture will be a focal point to bring together schools and parents, voluntary organisations, community groups, places of worship and local businesses to work alongside statutory agencies in Slough to take a collective stand against violence.
This includes knife crime, domestic abuse, hate crime, bullying and other forms of violence and aggression.
The sculpture will be located at Arbour Park in Slough throughout January, with numerous activities taking place to bring communities together. These include educational workshops, group activities and a candlelit vigil to remember those who have lost their life through knife crime.
Made in collaboration with all 43 police forces, the Home Office, anti-violence groups and hundreds of families who have been affected by knife crime, the monument is a symbol of the nation’s intolerance to violence and aggression. It is made from approximately 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife amnesty bins during police operations across the country.
Created by the British Ironwork Centre, the monument travels to locations around the UK to educate children, young people and adults about the harmful effects that violent behaviour has on communities.
Chief Inspector Ashley Smith, Deputy Commander for Slough policing area, said: “Across Slough, the policing team have been committed to tackling violent crime, and are keenly aware of the impact these offences have on families and communities in the town. By welcoming the knife angel to Slough, we will, with the support of partners, be able to use this as a focal point for a month of action to take a united stand against violence. I am pleased to be working across agencies to plan a series of activities throughout the month. We are all committed to building a legacy for this month of action as part of our commitment to not tolerating violence in Slough.”
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Our communities are rightly concerned about knife crime and violence in Slough and I want reassure them that I, and Thames Valley Police, are committed to tackling it. I am pleased to be bringing the knife angel to Slough. Its presence will help open up those wider conversations around knife carrying and violence with the long-term aim of changing attitudes and behaviours. Whilst I am committed to ensuring the police take tough enforcement against those who carry knives in our community we need everyone to work together to tackle the culture of knife carrying amongst some people in Slough.”
Slough Borough Council leader, Councillor James Swindlehurst, said: “I’m delighted Slough is one of the areas chosen to have the knife angel visit. It’s a timely visit given recent tragedies involving knife crime in the town, and the perfect opportunity to educate more people about the dangers of using and carrying knives. Seeing the knife angel sculpture in person will help raise awareness amongst our young people and will be a focus for the work to take these knives off our streets. The wider message about tackling violent crime is something we as a council wholeheartedly support.”