England

Stab victim mum in Trafalgar Square sculpture plea

The Knife Angel
Image caption The Knife Angel has 100,000 knives that have been confiscated or surrendered to police

The mother of a fatal stab victim has criticised a move not to allow a knife victims' memorial in Trafalgar Square.

Rachel Webb is among 100 relatives of knife crime victims backing a campaign to have a Knife Angel sculpture on the square's Fourth Plinth.

The Mayor of London's office said the Shropshire-made statue would not feature there and works had been selected up to 2022.

Mrs Webb, from Derbyshire, said she was "shaken" by the decision.

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Image copyright Rachel Webb
Image caption Rachel Webb said she was "really shaken" after hearing the sculpture would not be in Trafalgar Square

The 26ft (8m) sculpture made from 100,000 confiscated blades was intended as a tribute to knife crime victims and a campaign was started to install it in the central London square.

However, a City Hall spokesperson said the Fourth Plinth was "the site of a rolling programme of contemporary art" and works had been chosen "by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group on behalf of the Mayor of London".

Image caption Tom Webb, 22, was stabbed to death in January last year

The sculpture is currently at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire.

'An epidemic'

Clive Knowles, the centre's chairman who is behind the campaign, said the petition had been signed more than 35,000 times.

Mrs Webb, of Belper, whose son, Tom, 22, was killed over a comment about a woman being "fit", has said the statue could inspire young people to "de-tool".

Image caption Tom Webb's mother Rachel wants those who carry knives to "feel" the sculpture so they "can make an empowered choice to de-tool"

She said: "This is an epidemic and we need help and support from the mayor.

"This amazing sculpture has been declined because it doesn't fit some criteria. It's bizarre."

City Hall said the only way for a piece of art to be displayed was through being selected by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group on behalf of the mayor.

It added the mayor recently launched his knife crime strategy, which "included an additional £625,000 for knife and gang crime projects".

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