I JUST wanted to touch on the heavy subject of knife crime that we are hearing so much about in the media and locally, writes Councillor Gill Slocombe, leader of the Conservatives on Bridgwater Town Council.

The statue was designed by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre which aims to raise awareness of the negative effects of violence and aggression, stands at 27 ft tall, weighs 3.5 tonnes and is made out of 100,000 knives and blades retrieved from amnesty bins from across all 43 UK police forces.

On a personal note I feel it should be called the ‘Knife Devil’ because of its visual impact.

Many innocent young people feel they need to carry a knife for their protection, not realising that in fact, they will not be the victims they will be the perpetrators of a crime if using or even carrying a deadly weapon.

Maybe bullying and aggressive behaviour has always been with us, it's just now because of technology we hear and see it a lot more. 

Many parents are so worried about the fighting and bullying in our schools across the country, this exacerbates parents worries on what if, my child needs to defend him or herself, what will they do? 

Although Somerset remains a safe place to live with relatively low levels of knife crime, which is reassuring, we need to remain on alert that things can change at any time. Somerset Council is supporting anti-conflict awareness raising with schools, community groups and local businesses, together we can eradicate this.

I have been in discussion with the local potential Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford, who shares our worries and concerns. 

His concerns are our concerns, agreeing we must not be forgotten in this part of the country.

Locally, believing in making our public spaces safer, cracking down on county lines, improving road safety, violence against women and girls and improving road safety to say but a few. 

All of these issues are what we the public are shouting for. I felt I was being listened to, we must be heard.

I hear people shouting there are no deterrents any more, but look in our prisons, they are full, mostly all full of more than ‘anti-social-behaviour. 

I think Covid, has made us all realise how vulnerable we all are, how life is so precious, but one of the most important thing is to keep caring for each other with patience and understanding.

The Knife Angel Statue has brought a lot of opinions and whether we like it or we don’t, it is a sad indictment of society today that something like this was created however, one hopes it raises discussion amongst the community and within families leading to a positive step towards deterring young people from carrying any such weapons.