THE arrival of the 27ft high Knife Angel in Southend will be a “poignant reminder” of the devastation caused by knife crime, and can help police make the city a “safe place”.

The huge sculpture made from more than 100,000 confiscated blades will be unveiled at Victoria Circus on Monday.

The Knife Angel is designed to educate and raise awareness around knife crime and Essex Police have insisted its message will support their work clamping down on violence and keeping the people of Southend safe.

Chief Insp Jo Collins, district commander for Southend, said: “The Knife Angel is a poignant and striking reminder of the devastation caused by knife crime, across individual families and across our wider communities.

“We’re working hard to make Southend a safe place for the people who live and work here, and for those who visit.

“It’s really important we continue to maintain a highly-visible presence.

“We’re in the places where we’re needed most, we’re helping people who are vulnerable, and we’re building relationships with the people and our partners who are best placed to tackle the root causes behind knife crime.

“Our day-to-day work to tackle knife crime includes targeted patrols across hotspot areas, the use of knife arches, intelligence and proactive policing to identify people who are carrying them.”

A public opening ceremony, attended by Mayor of Southend, Ron Woodley, will take place at 10am on Monday. The event will bring together the High Sheriff for Essex, Southend Council, Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, together with ambulance service and NHS colleagues, British Ironworks Centre chairman, Clive Knowles, plus young people and members of the public.

Several speeches, musical performances and other creative pieces will be performed. At the end of the ceremony, attendees will have an opportunity to tie a white ribbon to the fencing around The Knife Angel in unity and hope, and to remember those lost to violent crime.

Alan Richards, executive director for environment and place, said: “As The Knife Angel arrives in our city, I am sure it will serve as a poignant reminder of our collective responsibility to work together to combat violence. As a city we are very proud to host this amazing monument and I hope it allows people to come together, reflect, and work towards a safer community.”