Tamworth schools welcome knife awareness talks

13 June 2023
Knife Angel sculpture by Alfie Bradley

Tamworth schools are welcoming guest speaker, Alison Cope, to share awareness of knife crime thanks to Tamworth Borough Council and Tamworth Community Safety Partnership.

The talks come as British Ironworks Centre tour the UK this summer with their renowned Knife Angel sculpture, arriving for public display in Lichfield during July 2023.

Created by sculptor Alfie Bradley in conjunction with the British Ironwork Centre, the Knife Angel has been created from 100,000 seized blades collected by 43 police constabularies.

The sculpture is multi-purpose, helping to educate communities about the negative impacts of knife crime whilst also acting as a poignant memorial to those who have lost their lives to knife crime.

Many Tamworth schools will be visiting the sculpture and in support of this, awareness talks are being funded by Tamworth Borough Council’s Community Safety Partnership, and will be delivered at Kettlebrook Young Foundations Ltd – Stepping Stones School, The Rawlett School, Two Rivers High and The Wilnecote School.

Anti-violence campaigner, Alison Cope, the mother of Joshua Ribera who was murdered in 2013, will deliver the school talks as part of her campaign to help prevent youth violence by sharing her son’s unique life and death story to help educate young people on the realties and consequences of youth violence. Her powerful presentations convey the importance of prevention, the emotive realisation of how choices affect loved ones and how young people retain hope for the future.

Alison has delivered talks to over 920,000 young people since 2013 around the West Midlands and nationally, helping young people to make positive choices to stay safe. The workshops follow the journey of both the victim and the offender to show young people how choices and consequences are linked.

The talks aim to change young people’s attitudes to knife crime; challenging the myth that carrying a knife will protect you; building confidence in young people to speak out and seek guidance if they or their peers are carrying a knife.

Over the past 25 years, Tamworth’s Community Safety Partnership has been responsible for a wide range of initiatives that have helped combat crime and anti-social behaviour in Tamworth both on a broad scale and neighbourhood level.

The Tamworth Community Safety Partnership is made up of Responsible Authorities and voluntary members including, Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Commissioners Office, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, National Probation Service, Staffordshire Integrated Care Partnership, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Staffordshire Council for Voluntary Youth Services (SCVYS) and Support Staffordshire.

If you have information about the possession of knives or offensive weapons or criminal activity relating to this type of crime, make a report online via the Staffordshire Police website.

You can also anonymously report information to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.