In July, a 7.5 tonne lorry arrived at the British Ironwork Centre  to deliver thousands of weapons – including knives and guns – which have all been collected from the streets of Manchester.

All weapons were collected as part of the Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) ‘Forever Amnesty’.        The knife and gun banks used for the amnesty were designed and created  at the Centre and have been utilised as a continual programme to encourage and support the public to surrender their dangerous weapons in order to clear the streets of violent and aggressive behaviour.

Manchester are the first location in the UK to develop and commit to an ongoing amnesty project like this, with all collected weapons to be used to create an anti-violence monument for the city.

Pictured: Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre & Paul Nolan, GMP Sergeant (Violence Reduction Unit)

In 2017, the horrific attack took place at the Manchester Arena whereby a shrapnel-laden bomb was detonated following an Ariana Grande Concert. Twenty-three people lost their lives and over 800 people were injured as a result, leaving families and the city at large completely devastated.

A Spokesperson at the Ironworks said: “With Manchester’s anti-violence monument symbolising the city’s complete intolerance to all forms of violent behaviour, we wanted to use its creation as an opportunity to reach out to all the families affected by the shocking and deeply saddening event that took place at the Manchester Arena on the 22nd of May 2017. We would like to invite all affected families to inscribe something onto the sculpture, allowing them to immortalise their lost loved one whilst simultaneously standing up against violence. The inscription will include the name of a lost loved one or the name of someone who was injured during the attack”.

The National Monument Against Violence & Aggression, The Knife Angel, which was created by the British Ironwork Centre to highlight the UK’s intolerance to all forms of violence

Taking inspiration from Manchester’s bee symbolism, the monument will take on the form of a giant bee, watching over the city and providing a reminder of their stance against violent and aggressive behaviour. It will be used by the GMP and the wider region as an educational tool.

A suitable location for the monument is still yet to be decided upon but, of course, it will be placed in a very prominent position where the maximum number of residents and visitors will be able to view and learn of its meaning.

Concept art for Manchester’s Anti-Violence Monument, crafted from guns & knives collected by the GMP

If you are an individual or one of the families affected by the events that took place on the 22nd of May 2017, please get in touch on 0800 6888 386 or to discuss your inscription further.