The Knife Angel Statue and Knife Amnesty Bin at Bury town centre.
News:

Knife Amnesty Bin to tour the UK with the Knife Angel Statue

March 5, 2024

Just a few weeks ago, we received a call from Adam Bullough who is head of business development at PPS Commercials with an exciting but urgent request. He asked if we could manufacture our popular Knife Amnesty Bin ready for collection, with only a week to turn it around.

We were told one thing that set the wheels in motion: the Knife Amnesty Bin would be touring the UK with the Knife Angel Statue.

From the beginning

In February, Adam from PPS received news from Nigel Shields (Bury Town Centre Director at Bury BID) that the Knife Angel Statue would be stood tall in Bury throughout the month of March as part of its country-wide tour. Bury BID were also keen to have a knife amnesty box to accompany the statue, and local Bury company PPS Commercials came forward to arrange for a suitable knife bin to be made and delivered on time.

So, Adam took to the internet to see what he could find – that’s when our popular Knife Amnesty Bin caught his eye. What followed was a phone call to our sales assistant, Vicky, and a chat with our marketing executive, Jake, to get the ball rolling.

The Knife Amnesty Bin ticked all the boxes for Adam and Bury BID: a durable steel body, high security locks, a one-way knife disposal system and optional advertising posters that can be fixed to the unit. And with only a week to get it manufactured ready for collection, we went one step further and delivered the unit to Adam directly.

The Knife Amnesty Bin in orange outside an office building.
The Knife Amnesty Bin

The Knife Angel Statue

The Knife Angel was created in 2018, a 4-year collaboration from artist Alfie Bradley and the British Ironworks Centre. Intricately sculptured using over 100,000 seized knives with a staggering height of 27ft, the Knife Angel is an eye-gazing but somber reminder of the impact of knife crime in the country, with over 200 reported knife-related deaths last year.  

But its purpose isn’t just pinned on the negative consequences of knife crime. It serves as a tribute to those who tragically lost their lives to a blade, and works to drive social change in communities across the UK.

The Knife Angel will be visiting a total of 12 destinations in 2024. It’s already served its time in Walsall, Leeds and the British Ironwork Centre. And our Knife Amnesty Bin will be following the statue for the remainder of its tour in the following towns and cities:

  • Taunton, Somerset – April 2024
  • Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset – May 2024
  • Sunderland, Durham – June 2024
  • Southend-on-Sea – July 2024
  • Plymouth, Devon (awaiting confirmation) – August 2024
  • Haverhill, Suffolk – September 2024
  • Peterborough Cathedral – October 2024
  • Hillingdon, London – November 2024
  • Durham (awaiting confirmation) – December 2024
The Knife Angel Statue in Bury town centre.
The Knife Angel Statue in Bury town centre.

Knife Angel Bury town centre unveiling

The statue was unveiled to the public on Friday the 1st of March, close to The Rock Shopping Centre in the town centre. The borough mayor, Councillor Sandra Walmsley, was there to officially open the statue to the public, accompanied by Clive Knowles, the Chairman of The British Ironwork Centre. 

During the launch, powerful statements and performances were given by those directly affected by knife crime, pulling on the heartstrings of all those in attendance. Our Knife Amnesty Unit was on display to the left of the statue with QR codes that direct the public to the unit on our website and PPS Commercial’s website, and an A4 poster that will soon advertise the importance of stopping knife crime.

We were very keen to be a part of the Knife Angel initiative – fighting knife crime is a cause close to our hearts, and we’re proud to say that, in 2023 alone, our knife bins have been a focal point for tackling knife crime around the country.

Working with PPS Commercials, Adam Bullough had this to say:

“PPS Commercials are delighted and privileged to help donate a Knife Amnesty box with the help of Wybone. Hopefully, this will contribute to behavioural change for such a damaging topic within today’s society. The Knife Amnesty Bin is a wonderful product, and we were extremely grateful for the proactiveness of Wybone to have one manufactured and delivered in such a short space of time.”

Nigel Shields from Bury BID spoke about the importance of the knife bin: 

“Bury BID is using the Knife Amnesty Box as a visual reminder to promote the ongoing efforts of the Greater Manchester Police’s Forever Amnesty Initiative, where knives can be disposed of anonymously at police stations across Greater Manchester. This initiative underscores the collective commitment to reducing knife violence and creating safer communities.”

A close-up of the Knife Amnesty Bin at Bury, along with Clive Knowles (far left), our Marketing Executive, Jake, and Adam Bullough (far right).

How our Knife Amnesty Bins are making a difference

Leeds

In April of last year, the BBC released an article announcing the successful installation of our knife amnesty bins in Leeds, following a number of serious stabbings in Harehills and Chapeltown. 

The District Bishop, Tony Parry, announced the installation of the units and their importance in preventing knife crime in the city, following the fatal stabbings of 18-year-old Jamie Meah and 17-year-old Jordan Gangata in 2023. During their unveiling, Tony commented, ‘For me, one knife in the bin is potentially two lives that could be saved’. We couldn’t agree more.

Leaders of Chapeltown and Harehills are optimistic the knife bins will help fight knife crime in the area.

Harrogate

In 2023, North Yorkshire Council distributed several of our knife amnesty units across Harrogate. Since January of that year, they’ve found more than 500 knives taken off the streets and securely hidden in one unit that was placed in Dragon Road car park. And with a funding of £15,000, the Council are looking to extend this initiative to other locations.

Swindon

Four of our knife bins were delivered to Swindon in November last year, all sporting an orange body colour with an A4 poster with six simple but powerful words: bin a knife, save a life.

These units came from a previously successful trial in May, where our bins collected up to 400 knives in just two weeks.

Knife Amnesty Bin in Leeds.
A Knife Amnesty Bin in Leeds. Photo courtesy of Emma Glasbey/BBC.

Overall, it’s been a short, exciting project that we’re confident will have a lasting impact. The more we can get our knife bins out there, the closer we are to removing blades off the street. And doing it beside the Knife Angel is an honour we will continue to remember.

If you’d like to find out more about our Knife Amnesty units, please contact our sales team by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01226 744010.

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