Anti-violence campaign: Bee monument made from weapons to tour Walsall schools this Summer

A unique giant bee made from thousands of seized knives and guns will start touring Walsall schools next week, as part of an anti-violence campaign.

The Manchester Anti-Violence Monument Bee will be arriving in Walsall on 17 June and will be available to local schools until 22 July.

The bee’s visit will build upon the legacy of the successful Knife Angel visit to Walsall in December last year.

The monument is comprised from thousands of weapons, including knives and guns collected from the streets of Manchester. Having originally been situated in the city, the bee is now touring the UK to offer anti-violence education.

West Midlands Police has worked with the council to bring the monument to Walsall, and many local schools have signed up to book the symbolic monument for a day.

Reducing serious youth violence is a priority for Walsall local policing area (LPA) and it is hoped the bee will be used as an educational talking point and catalyst for discussion about knife crime, and the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

The Knife Angel visited Walsall for a month last year, and the 27ft stainless steel sculpture was a talking point throughout its stay.

Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby, Commander at Walsall LPA, said, “The Knife Angel left behind a wonderful legacy. Thousands of people saw the Knife Angel in the town and we know that its presence started lots of conversations – that’s exactly what we hoped would happen. The Manchester Monument Bee can continue on from this and it is great to see schools signing up to host the monument for a day. We need children to get talking about knife crime.

“Knives are everywhere, in everyone’s homes. As a society, in our homes, in our classrooms, with friends on the streets, we need to have meaningful conversations about #LifeorKnife."

Ian Brotherton, Young Persons Officer, based at Walsall Partnerships, said, "The Knife Angel left behind such an important legacy and we wanted to build on this. We hope the Manchester Monument Bee will play its role in helping pupils positively talk about anti-violence and anti knife crime."

Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Anthony Harris said, “Our young people deserve to feel safe on the streets of Walsall, and we hope the bee will act as a great talking point in schools, where pupils can speak with peers openly and honestly, in a safe environment. 

“Schools have been able to book the bee for a day, and can host assemblies, talks, or even creative activities such as drawing, centred around the monument and its symbolism.

“Too many lives are lost to knife crime, and the council is fully committed to working with partners, communities and our young people to help reduce it.”

To learn more about our #LifeorKnife campaign go to https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/campaigns/life-or-knife

To find out more about the Manchester Bee go to https://www.britishironworkcentre.co.uk/projects_item/gmp-anti-violence-bee-monument/

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