Crowds of people gathered in Taunton for the unveiling of the Knife Angel in Somerset as part of a nationwide anti-violence tour.

The statue, which aims to raise awareness of the negative effects of violence and aggression, stands at 27ft tall, weighs 3.5 tonnes and is made out of 100,000 knives and blades retrieved from amnesty bins from across all 43 UK police forces.

It was designed by artist, Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre.  

A short ceremony took place outside the Market House in Taunton where the statue will be located throughout April.

The event was hosted by Edward James Allen, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Cllr Nick O’Donnell, Mayor of Taunton, and Cllr Mike Best, chair of Somerset Council.

There were speeches from Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Communities, Housing and Culture, Cllr Tom Deakin, Leader of Taunton Town Council, Adam Fouracre from Stand Against Violence and Emma Webber from the Barnaby Webber Foundation.

After a minute’s silence, the ceremony closed with attendees being invited to tie a ‘Ribbon of Reflection’ to the railings surrounding the Knife Angel as a mark of their support.

Cllr Tom Deakin, Leader of Taunton Town Council, said: “Taunton Town Council is proud to support the bringing of the Knife Angel to the town centre. 

“Our hope is that its presence in such a prominent location will start conversations across our community raising awareness of the impact of aggression and violent crime.” 

Adam Fouracre from Stand Against Violence and Emma Webber from the Barnaby Webber Foundation also addressed the crowd to share their personal stories. 

Although Somerset remains a safe place to live with relatively low levels of knife crime, Somerset Council and Taunton Town Council are supporting and encouraging a 30-day campaign of anti-conflict awareness raising with schools, community groups and local businesses.

The Knife Angel in Somerset is supported by Somerset Council, Taunton Town Council, Avon and Somerset Police, Barnaby Webber Foundation, British Ironwork Centre, Crimestoppers, Go Create, Taunton Independent Market, Stand Against Violence and Taunton Minster. We’re pleased to have the increasing support of many partners and local businesses from across Somerset.