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West Northants to hold vigil one year on from Knife Angel visit

Community, safety and emergencies

02 May 2023

The Knife Angel with the blue sky backdrop

A church service and vigil will be held in West Northamptonshire one year on from the Knife Angel visit to remember those who have died through knife crime or been affected by violence.

This will take place at All Saints Church in Northampton on Friday, 19 May, at 7.30pm, followed by a candle-lit vigil in the church courtyard.

The vigil will give us the opportunity to stand side by side with all those who have suffered or lost loved ones due to violence, including knife and gang crime.

This is very personal to me which is why I am passionate about speaking about this and raising awareness at every juncture – it’s about getting this subject into the conversation.

Together with our partners and the community, I believe we really can make a difference and prevent further acts of violence on our streets. I encourage everyone to join us at this service as we unite against all forms of violence in West Northamptonshire.
Cllr David Smith, West Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement

The service forms part of a month of activities, which will include free critical bleed training delivered by anti-knife crime charity Off the Streets. Free2Talk will also be offering mentoring for young people and will be stationing their youth bus in Northampton for young people to drop-in and learn about personal safety and sign up to become an Anti-Violence Champion.

Now is the time to come together to talk about the effects of knife crime on families and communities. We need to show support for one another.Cheri Curran, mother of Louis-Ryan Menezes who was fatally stabbed in St David’s in 2018

The Knife Angel statue, the National Symbol Against Violence and Aggression, visited Northampton last year as part of its nationwide tour to highlight the issue of knife crime in the UK. The 27-feet-tall statue has been created by using over 100,000 knives and blades confiscated by the UK’s 43 police forces.

An augmented reality version of the monument can be viewed in the Knife Angel App, available via the Explore Northampton App which is free to download from the App Store and Google Play, along with videos, downloadable pdfs and information for parents on how to look out for signs that their child is being drawn into gangs and carrying weapons.

There are also links to partner websites such as Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) and Fearless, where people can report information anonymously, and a link to a map of bleed control kit locations installed by Off the Streets. The bleed control kits can be used to provide emergency aid to treat patients injured in a serious violent crime and keep them alive until the emergency services arrive.

For the full list of activities taking place throughout May, keep an eye on WNC’s social media pages. For more information and resources around knife crime and gangs, please visit the Fearless website.

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