The anti-violence bee made entirely of street weapons drew a visit from Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster and Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Development, Place and Tourism, Councillor Matthew Eyre as they met to discuss partnership working.
The thought-provoking national monument arrived in Derby as part of its countywide tour, sending a powerful message that all forms of violence are unacceptable.
The 11ft tall bee was made by the British Ironwork Centre – the same Oswestry company that produced the Knife Angel – and was created using various weapons, including knives and firearms, collected during an arms amnesty in Manchester.
The Commissioner is taking a strong partnership approach to serious violence and is working closely with Cllr Eyre, the city council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, and other key partners to identify tough action to prevent people being drawn to violent crime.
She spearheaded the creation of a new countywide Serious Violence Partnership Board in the autumn to drive forward a series of workstreams to crackdown on criminality such as organised crime, knife crime and county lines. Members include Community Safety Partnerships, county and city councils, public health, police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
Already, the partnership is collectively working on the production of a needs assessment and strategy in anticipation of the new Serious Violence Duty which comes into force next year. This places a new statutory duty on public sector agencies to tackle and prevent serious violence.
Next year, the Commissioner and her office are set to take a leading role in the development of a new initiative based on Violence Reduction Partnerships (VRUs) which have been successfully launched in other parts of the country and receive government funding to tackle serious violence.
Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “No one agency can tackle violence so partnerships are vital. This is why I have been at the forefront of the work to bring agencies closer together and to design prevention strategies that address the many issues that cause and perpetuate violence on our streets.
“We are advancing those plans and looking at proactive action to reduce risk and expand the support currently available to protect young people from being drawn into violence whilst also helping those already caught in the criminal justice system to turn their backs on crime.
“The anti-violence bee gives people another opportunity to talk about the consequences of knife crime and serious violence.
“This statue is a physical representation of society’s intolerance of violence and sends a clear message that we must all work harder together to drive it out from our communities.”
Councillor Matthew Eyre said “The Police and Crime Commissioner and I are both committed to working together to do whatever we can to eliminate serious violence from our communities and it is always a pleasure to spend time together in Derby City.
The anti-violence bee sends such a strong, eye-opening message to all who see it and it was fascinating to hear feedback and views on violent crime from students and staff at Derby College.
Only through joint working can we take the actions required to make progress in tackling these issues and I am fully committed to the Commissioner’s partnership approach and plans.”