Partners across Slough are working together with communities and organisations as part of a month of action to tackle violence in all its forms.
The month of action for January was marked on Monday (9/1) with the arrival of the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression at Arbour Park Stadium, where it will be located throughout the month.
The monument, also known as the Knife Angel, is the focal point for activity across the town in January to take a collective stand against violence. The month of action across Slough brings together Thames Valley Police, Slough Borough Council, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner and The Safety Centre.
Activity throughout the month has been designed by those who live and work in the town to bring together schools and parents, voluntary sector organisations, places of worship, community groups, local venues and businesses to tackle violence in all its forms. This includes knife crime, domestic abuse, hate crime, bullying and other forms of violence and aggression.
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. It is made from approximately 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife amnesty bins during police operations across the country.
Deputy Commander for Slough policing area, Ashley Smith, said: “We know that violence, particularly knife crime, is a real concern for our communities and there is a clear desire in our town to work together to end this. The start of a new year will serve as a catalyst for activity with partners and communities to tackle violence in all its forms, with opportunities throughout the month to get involved and make a difference locally. We acknowledge this cannot be a single month of action, and are committed to building a legacy as part of our commitment to not tolerating violence in Slough.”
Matthew Barber Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Tackling knife crime and serious violence in Slough is a priority for Thames Valley Police. However, preventing knife crime and addressing the reasons as to why people choose to carry a knife cannot be tackled by policing alone which is why welcoming the Knife Angel to Slough is so important. The Knife Angel reminds us of the devastating impact of violence and aggression and brings partners and the community together with a commitment to tackle it. I encourage the residents of Slough to visit during the month and get involved in the activities taking place. We can all play a part in raising awareness and creating change by having conversations about the impact of knife crime within our communities and our homes”.
Councillor James Swindlehurst, leader of Slough Borough Council, said: “This is part of the multi-agency knife-crime reduction project work here in Slough. A lot of work has been going on between partners to plan the activities during this month. We hope residents engage with the events, visit the Knife Angel in person, and help to spread the message that committing violent acts is never okay. The Knife Angel is an impressive structure with a very important message behind it.”
Maya Joseph-Hussain CEO of the Safety Centre said: “We’re excited to welcome the Knife Angel to Slough in January and to be delivering our bespoke early intervention knife crime prevention sessions to 1,950 primary school students across Slough as part of the month of action against violence and aggression. Our exceptional education team deliver lifesaving education in a safe, age-appropriate way, creating safe spaces for lifesaving conversations. As the world’s first safety education charity we’re here to talk about the difficult topic of knife crime with children and young people in a safe, meaningful way to help create safe, flourishing communities across the region.”