Express & Star comment: Knife Angel to bring anti-blade message
The Knife Angel is undoubtedly one of the most striking pieces of art to have been created in this country in recent years.
Consisting of around 100,000 knives that have been confiscated by police forces, the towering sculpture is impossible to ignore.
But putting aside its rather unique beauty, it should not be forgotten that the sculpture highlights a crucial message that we can all get behind.
At a time of rising knife crime, where more and more young people consider it normal behaviour to carry a blade, the Knife Angel is a stark representation of our determination as a society to address this issue.
Over the past year it has been on display in locations including Coventry and Birmingham.
It is now in Newtown in Mid Wales, is due to go to Telford’s Southwater in the coming months, and plans are now afoot to bring in to Wolverhampton in April.
It would be fantastic for Wolverhampton to host the sculpture, particularly bearing in mind the excellent preventative work being done by the city council, local police and other organisations.
We hope that a suitable site for it can be found, so everyone people in the city can see the sculpture with their own eyes.
There is no doubt that an awful lot of hard work is going on across our region in the battle to combat knife crime. But alongside the excellent community work, our police forces must be given the resources to deal with those carrying blades.
On top of that, the government must look at the sentencing guidelines around all forms of violent crime as a matter of urgency.
No one wants to see young people needlessly locked up, but those who are determined to carry and use knives must know that if snared, they will face the full force of the law.
For too long, criminals have been allowed to commit violent crimes with little fear of prosecution. The time for soft sentences is over.
If our public health approach to knife crime is to stand any chance of being successful, it must run alongside a commitment to hit violent criminals with the strongest possible sentences.