Knife crime education campaign underway in Bury schools and colleges

21 March 2024

3.7 Min Read

Bury, UK – March 2024

HUNDREDS of young people in Bury are being educated on the impacts of knife crime and violent and aggressive behaviour in communities, as part of an awareness campaign being delivered alongside the Knife Angel.

The Knife Angel – a 27ft sculpture made of 100,000 knives – was unveiled in Bury last week and is in the town until 27th March.

It was specifically created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour whilst solidifying the critical need for social change.

Bringing the Knife Angel to the town is being led by the Bury BID (Business Improvement District) in partnership with Bury Council and Greater Manchester Police. It can be found by Bob and Berts close to The Rock Shopping Centre.

A programme of educational events, workshops and community events are taking place throughout March with the aim of resonating with young minds, encouraging them to make informed choices and contribute positively to their surroundings.

These events include:

  • Commando Chef: Knives in the Kitchen, not in the Street Cookery Workshop: Bury College 12 March and Holy Cross College 14 March. This workshop offers a creative space for young individuals to explore culinary skills while imbibing the importance of safety and responsibility.
  • Street Reds Session with Fred the Red: 21 March. In partnership with the Manchester United Foundation 92 with their activity bus, TFGM TravelSafe and GMP. Philips High School will host a special session featuring Fred the Red from the legendary football club. Beyond the excitement of sports, this event emphasizes camaraderie, teamwork, and community spirit. Specialist workers will be onsite to offer parents and young people free advice and resources around harm reduction around knife crime.
  • Knife Angel Street Art: 22 March. Children/young people will produce their own piece of street art, to be a collaborative mural for display in the Town Hall/Elizabethan Suite.
  • Knife Crime Prevention Workshops: Bury Town Hall will serve as the venue for crucial workshops led by the Carry Your Dreams, not a Knife Team, in collaboration with Children’s Services. These workshops aim to empower young minds with the knowledge and resilience to allow them to make informed decisions of the potential consequences of carrying knives and make positive choices for themselves and their communities and the importance of speaking out. The theme is ‘The conversation you have today could save a life tomorrow.’
  • Hate Crime Reporting Station: On 21 March. Greater Manchester Police, Bury LGBTQI and Bury Council will be at the Knife Angel with advice, guidance and information on how to report Knife Crime and all forms of hate crime within Bury.

All high schools in Bury have been approached regarding these events, ensuring widespread participation and impact. Schools are also being encouraged to visit the Knife Angel.

Councillor Richard Gold, Bury Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Finance, added: “Through Bury Council’s leadership in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police and local partners, the Bury Community Safety Partnership is committed to preventing harm and reducing criminality in the borough.

“Awareness raising and engagement of the risks associated with carrying knives, through activity such as bringing the Knife Angel to Bury, is part of our partnership approach to address a local priority of the Partnership, and in delivering local action against the Serious Violence Duty.

“This builds on work and engagement with our communities to keep Bury a safe place to live, study, work, socialise in and visit.”

Bury BID’s Town Centre Director, Nigel Shields, emphasises the significance of a multi-agency and partnership approach in promoting safety and engagement in local communities, stating:

“The collaboration among various agencies underscores our commitment to creating a safer environment. By working together, we can effectively address the complex issue of knife crime and empower young people, families, schools and members of our community to become agents of positive change.”

Councillor Richard Gold, Bury Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Finance added, “Through Bury Council’s leadership in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police and local partners, the Bury Community Safety Partnership is committed to preventing harm and reducing criminality in the borough.

“Awareness raising and engagement of the risks associated with carrying knives, through activity such as bringing the Knife Angel to Bury, is part of our partnership approach to address a local priority of the Partnership, and in delivering local action against the Serious Violence Duty.

“This builds on work and engagement with our communities to keep Bury a safe place to live, study, work, socialise in and visit.”