Knife Angel campaign gets more than 500 signatures in one day
A campaigner from London travelled up to Sheffield to gather support for the Knife Angel.
Danny O’Brien, of Anti Knife UK, visited the city to persuade the public and Sheffield Council to welcome the 27 ft tall statue.
It was created by Alfie Bradle using more than 100,000 knives seized from criminals and is touring the country over the next two years to raise awareness of their dangers.
Some said it would help warn people of the dangers of carrying a knife while others say it could be offensive.
Mr O’Brien said he managed to get more than 500 people to sign the petition to bring it to Sheffield in just the one day.
He said: “It wasn’t as good as we expected but I’m not disappointed.
“It would be good to get people from both sides of the debate together for a public meeting.
“Other cities have taken it so it would be a shame for Sheffield to say no.
“It’s an educational tool and helps spread awareness and could bring visitors to Sheffield to see it.”
He said he also had a two-hour chat with a councillor, which he said was ‘positive’ but thought the council ‘had not thought through’ the decision enough yet.
Councillor Paul Wood, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, recently revealed the estimated cost of bringing the Knife Angel to Sheffield would be more than £15,000.
He said: “I’ve not made a decision, I’m just getting things in place to make a decision.
“My officers contacted the people responsible for moving it. Wherever we site it it’s going to take some work because they have to put a base in to secure it and a crane to lift it.
“Then we would need to have a deal to run a campaign for 28 days on knife crime which means I would then have to tie up officer time, community workers and all the project work that would need doing so I’m getting a full costing of it before I really made any decision.”
But Mr O’Brien said the money could be raised for the council.
He said: “The problem is people want things for free. Things have been cut quite derastically but if you can get sponsorship or a public funding page the money would soon be covered.”
Mr O’Brien added they offered to drive or pay for councillors to visit the Knife Angel in Derby, saying it is ‘amazing’ and had to be seen before a decision is made.
Coun Wood said if the Knife Angel did come to Sheffield it would not arrive until 2021.