Nottingham

Nottingham City Council criticised over Knife Angel snub

Knife Angel at Coventry Cathedral Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Knife Angel is made up of thousands of blades to raise awareness of knife crime

A knife crime campaigner said he "can't understand" why a bid to bring a sculpture to a city has been snubbed.

Nottingham City Council said it will not fund plans to host the 27ft (8m) Knife Angel statue, made up of 100,000 blades handed to UK police forces.

Last year, its former leader said the cost of having the statue should be spent "on catching criminals" instead.

But campaigner Roger Henry said it could save lives and would cost less than sending a young person to prison.

"For me the Knife Angel is more than just something to stand as a monument," said Mr Henry.

"If it saves just one life then I think it is worth it."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Knife Angel has already been to Birmingham, Coventry, Hull and Liverpool

Almost 900 knife offences were reported in Nottinghamshire in 2018, a near 10% rise on 2017, and it is the only police force outside of London to have a dedicated knife crime team.

Former council leader Jon Collins previously told the Nottingham Post the sculpture was "nice but not necessary" and money would be better spent elsewhere.

A council spokesman said although Mr Collins had since stood down, his viewpoint "captures the council's position and this has not changed".

Derby is currently hosting the statue in October, with the monument already having stints in Birmingham, Hull, Liverpool and Coventry.

Image caption Nottinghamshire Police is the only force outside of London to have a dedicated knife crime team

The Knife Angel was created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre in Shropshire.

The centre's chairman, Clive Knowles, described Nottingham's position as "ridiculous" and "a travesty".

Mr Henry said they were still "optimistic" they could work with the council they were also in talks with the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping.

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