The Bury community came together with a poignant message on knife crime as the time came for a symbolic monument to move on.

Around 50 people gathered at the closing ceremony to mark the Knife Angel leaving last night, Tuesday, outside Bob and Bert’s at The Rock.

The 27-foot winged figure was crafted from more than 100,000 confiscated knives and blades, and has been described as an important reminder of the devastating impact of violent crime.

The ceremony started with a performance by Olivia Savage, Radcliffe’s Got Talent winner and supported by charity Liv’s Trust.

Children from the Encore Youth Fire Choir also sang while holding some candle lights, which was followed by a poetry reading from local poet Richard Easton and a spoken word performance by Layla Redmayne from Manchester-based MaD Theatre Company.

Bury Times: The Mayor of Bury Cllr Sandra Walmsley with Francesca Johnson, and her friend KatyshaThe Mayor of Bury Cllr Sandra Walmsley with Francesca Johnson, and her friend Katysha (Image: Newsquest)Read some of our top stories below:

Bury mayor Cllr Sandra Walmsley touched on how important the Knife Angel was, following a number of knife-related incidents, including a triple stabbing in Bury.

She said: “When we started this programme nearly a month ago, we said from the start that it needed to be by young people for young people and it has been amazing to see.

“I think 17 different school groups came down with their school year groups doing educational exercises and activities, and that was the whole point of bringing the Knife Angel to Bury.

“And for those that may have criticised us in the early days when it came, and people said why does Bury need it?

“I think we’ve seen in the last few weeks that we absolutely needed it, and the awareness raising, and the education that has gone on around the statue in the last few weeks is unmeasurable.

“We will continue to work with Greater Manchester Police, Bury businesses and young people to make Bury a safer place.”

Bury Times: Layla's emotional poem focused on not wanting to be another knife crime statistic.

She said: “It’s a spectacular way to raise awareness for knife crime in the local community.

“It’s a very important topic that needs to be told to people nowadays, because if it’s not taught it won’t stop, and if awareness isn’t raised no one will know about the lives lost, and it will all be in vain.”

The monument has become a place for reflection and a starting point for crucial conversations about the root causes of violence and the need for preventative measures.

Unveiled in 2018 at the British Ironwork Centre in Shropshire, the Knife Angel's impact was immediate.

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