KNIFE Angel is a "symbol for powerful change", according to North Somerset Council's  executive member for safety in the community, Councillor James Clayton.

Designed by Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre (BIC), Knife Angel, a 27-foot-tall statue, has been created from blades confiscated by the UK's 43 police forces. 

Its arrival to the Italian Gardens is the result of a successful bid by the North Somerset Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). It is hoped that this will help highlight the issue of violent crime.

Residents were invited to an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, May 1 at the Italian Gardens, where they listened to speeches from Emma Webber, the mother of 19-year-old Barnaby from Taunton, who was fatally stabbed in Nottingham, as well as the High Sheriff of Somerset and Councillor Clayton.

Ryan Abrahams, a Weston College student who designed the Knife Angel North Somerset logo, was also presented with a certificate by the High Sheriff. 

Attendees at the ceremony were led in a minute's silence to remember the victims of knife crime.

The ceremony concluded with Emma Webber tying the first ribbon on to the memorial ribbon tie by the Knife Angel statue. 

Councillor James Clayton, North Somerset Council’s executive member for safety in the community, said: “Being part of the opening ceremony to officially welcome the Knife Angel to North Somerset was a powerful experience. 

“Thank you to the High Sheriff of Somerset for chairing the ceremony. His speech laying out the national context of knife crime, and how we can spread awareness to help tackle this growing problem, was stirring.

“Hearing Emma Webber’s personal story was incredibly moving, and reinforced the importance of raising awareness of this devastating issue. 

“The statue will be at the Italian Gardens throughout May, and I would urge everybody to come and see it. The Knife Angel is a symbol for powerful change, and we’ve planned a month of action throughout May and beyond to engage with the local community and help spread awareness about knife crime.

"Please do get involved with this where you can, to find out how we can work together to help keep our local community safe.”

A community engagement event focused on the issue of knife crime is coming to Portishead Football Club this Saturday, from 9am.