SOUTHEND will host a huge 27-foot Knife Angel monument as part of an anti-violence campaign.

Following a successful bid by Southend Council, the British Ironworks association has chosen the city to host the national anti-violence sculpture in July.

The Knife Angel is crafted from more than 100,000 confiscated or surrendered weapons.

These include knives, each inscribed with heartfelt messages from families impacted by violence or from former offenders.

James Courtenay, councillor responsible for community safety and public protection, said: “I am extremely pleased that Southend has been selected to be part of the UK National Youth Anti-Violence Tour.

“This is a significant opportunity for Southend and key crime reduction partners, to benefit from the unique public awareness and educational opportunities The Knife Angel presents.”

The impressive monument has been touring the nation as a symbol of hope and social change, particularly against knife crime.

From Monday, July 1 until Sunday, July 28, it will be stationed at the Victoria Circus end of the city’s High Street.

This strategic positioning provides locals and visitors with an opportunity to view the monument up close and absorb its profound message.

Throughout its stay, a general weapons amnesty, supported by Essex Police, will be in operation.

A secure surrender bin, that travels with The Knife Angel, will be available for those wishing to dispose of any weapons safely.

Additionally, a complimentary programme of learning opportunities is lined up for July.

The sessions hold an ambitious aim: to discourage youth involvement in violence. Attendees will learn about the impacts of violence, the signs of exploitation and county lines.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and chair of the Violence and Vulnerability Partnership, said: “Essex is a safe county, but one knife crime is one too many.

“The Knife Angel is a great conversation starter.

“It powerfully reminds us of the tragedies and heartbreak caused by knife crime, but also gives us a reason to talk about the dangers possession of a knife brings, allowing us to educate our young people and communities in order to keep Southend safe.”

More details about The Knife Angel’s visit will be provided in the upcoming weeks on Visit Southend website,