Huge Knife Angel sculpture visits Walsall to share anti-violence message and 'start conversations'
A towering monument to those lost and those still affected by knife crime will sit watching over a Black Country town centre for the next month.
Gallery Square in Walsall was the setting for the official unveiling of the Knife Angel, the 27ft tall statue made of 100,000 bladed weapons which will stand under the shadow of the New Art Gallery until December 28.
The vivid and very powerful statue has toured the country as a way of discussing and debating the dangers of knife crime and the effects it has on people's lives, from the people who have died or been injured to the families and friends of those affected.
Recent figures have shown that since 2020, around 10 knife crimes have occurred each day in the West Midlands, with 11,286 knife crimes reported over the last three years and 3,436 knife crimes in 2023 to date.
The launch event saw members of West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service attend alongside Walsall councillors and community leaders, as well as youth leaders and families of people who had died from knife attacks.
This included Mark Brindley, the father of James Brindley, who died after being stabbed in June 2017, and who said he had been very moved by the powerful imagery of the Knife Angel.
He said: "I arrived at 7am this morning and saw the angel lit up, which was a really emotional moment as I look at my son's face every day and I had to take myself away to keep my composure.