West Mercia and Warwickshire back knife angel memorial

Sculptor Alfie Bradley Image copyright British Ironworks Centre
Image caption Sculptor Alfie Bradley said each of the knives would be cleaned and used to form a feather in the statue's wings

Five thousand knives have been donated by two police forces to help build a national memorial to victims of knife crime.

The West Mercia and Warwickshire forces handed over all weapons seized over the last two years.

They will be used to build a sculpture of an angel, with each knife forming a feather in its wings.

The British Ironworks Centre plans to find 100,000 knives to complete the statue, expected to stand 20ft high.

Sculptor Alfie Bradley said he hoped it would be completed by the autumn.

In all, some 10,000 weapons have been donated so far.

Image copyright British Ironworks Centre
Image caption The donation from the West Mercia and Warwickshire forces is the largest so far

'Shocking thing'

"There's no uniformity, so it's going to be a complete collage of knives," Clive Knowles, managing director of the British Ironworks Centre, said.

"There are a lot of what were clearly originally kitchen knives, but there have also been flick knives, razor-type knives, garrotting wires, homemade knives and ones made in prison from door bolts.

"One flick knife was disguised as a lighter and another two were designed to fit inside a fake mobile phone.

"I think you're going to look at the sculpture and realise how many knives there are on the streets of the UK. That's going to be the really shocking thing."

Mr Knowles said the Save A Life, Surrender Your Knife campaign was receiving regular deliveries from the Metropolitan Police, while knives were also being donated by the Lancashire and West Yorkshire forces later this month.

He said the sculpture would be the only national memorial of its kind and councils in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham had already offered to provide a permanent home for it.

Image caption In May, the British Ironworks Centre unveiled a giant gorilla sculpture, made from spoons

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