The Knife Angel’s anti-violence message is one that should resonate with the “Instagram generation”, according to a Banwy Valley councillor.

With the iconic anti-violence statue in place at Newtown until the end of January, work has started to educate school pupils and students to prevent a knife carrying culture from making its way from the big cities to the countryside.

Powys County Council cabinet member, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent, Banwy), said the use of social media can help encourage discussions among young people about knife culture.

“As a parent of children who socialise in Newtown, this is great as it stops knife crime before it comes,” she said.

“It informs them fully of the risks of knife crime.

“It’s a way of getting a message through to the Instagram generation.

“You have your selfie you share it and start talking to your friends about what it means – it’s about sparking those conversations.”

County Times:

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said the Knife Angel and its powerful message about preventing violent crime “resonates with people”.

“Last year the Urdd sent out a message of goodwill focussing on knife crime. The Youth Senedd also highlighted knife crime as an issue facing young people and we have an activity plan for a month while it’s here.”

Mr Llywelyn He added that members of a ‘County Lines’ drug dealing gang had been sentenced to a total of more than 100 years in prison after a recent operation in Welshpool, Newtown and Llandrindod Wells.

“These are subjects that we’ll be discussing over the next month and instigate wider conversation,” Mr Llywelyn said.

Cllr Joy Jones (Non-aligned – Newtown East) who had the idea of bringing the Knife Angel to Newtown added that she had been inspired, due to the affect violent crime had had on her own family.

Cllr Jones, said: “People have told us some incredible and heartbreaking stories of things that have happened in their lives not necessarily knife crime and that seeing the Angel has given them some peace.

“It’s been overwhelming, it’s not what I thought would happen.”

A knife amnesty is also being held as part of the campaign – with a  knife deposit bin at the Knife Angel site near the Oriel Davies Gallery as well as at Llandrindod Wells and Brecon Police Stations.

Created at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, the 3.5 tonnes, 27-foot high Knife Angel is a “national monument against violence and aggression”. It is made from 100,000 knives collected from 43 police forces all around the UK, including Dyfed-Powys.

Artist Alfie Bradley took two years to create the angel, with each knife blunted before being welded onto the sculpture.

The wings were created using only the blades, creating a feather-like appearance.

Part of the project is to promote a petition supporting a ‘Save a Life – Surrender your Knife’ campaign that has already been signed by nearly 16,000 people.