Knife Angel statue will not be coming to Sheffield
An angel made from knives used in stabbings and murders will not come to Sheffield after council chiefs decided against it.
The towering Knife Angel was made by the British Ironwork Centre and is touring the country. It has appeared at Liverpool, Hull, Coventry and Birmingham but won’t be coming to Sheffield.
Coun Paul Wood, cabinet member for community safety, said he had spoken to many community groups and individuals about the statue and opinion had been completely divided.
He said: “Mums United were in favour of it but other groups were not, there were very mixed views.
“I also spoke to politicians and there were some who thought it was a good idea but others who thought it was horrendous. Some people felt it was distasteful and I don’t want to offend anyone.
“Because I couldn’t get a consensus I have taken the decision not to bring it to the city. I can understand victims’ families felt it was important and if there had been a large demand to bring it I would, but people’s opinion was completely split.”
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Hayley Lowe, whose eight-year-old cousin was stabbed to death, has started a petition to reverse the decision.
Hayley, who is 25 and from Heeley, said: “I’m in an anti-knife crime group and we wanted it to come. So many people have been affected by knife crime. The amount of knives used to create it have all come off the streets and been used in crimes. This is a really massive problem.
“The Knife Angel represents just a fraction of the scale of the problem our country faces. I want to bring this magnificent statue to my own city as knife crime has affected me but also so many in Sheffield. I hope it would work as a deterent or even just a wake-up call to anyone involved in knife crime.”
Hayley’s cousin Mylee was stabbed to death by her father William Billingham. He was convicted of murder last year. Visit http://chng.it/wW6DQz9Ddc to see her petition.
The British Ironwork Centre says cities which host the statue have to run educational programmes and workshops to “highlight the national blight of violence and aggression within the UK whilst simultaneously educating school children and youth about the negative effects knife crime has on families, victims, communities and perpetrators”.