25 November 2022
Derbyshire Police and Fire Headquarters is today preparing to welcome the ‘Anti-Violence Bee’, an 11-foot monument created using thousands of recovered weapons designed to raise awareness among communities of the dangers of carrying knives and firearms.
The sculpture will be creating a buzz across the county as it visits numerous venues and locations throughout the rest of this month and up until Wednesday 21 December.
Created at the British Ironwork Centre, the bee was two years in the making and has been made from various weapons, including knives and firearms, all from the streets of Manchester.
“It is a real statement piece and we hope it will generate conversations to promote the anti-violence message. Some people will love it, and I think others will find it quite emotive,” said Inspector Ellen Lovatt, from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Operational Support Department.
“But the main thing is, it will get people talking and will undoubtedly raise awareness throughout the county.
“It is so hugely important for awareness to be raised around any sort of violence and hopefully the Bee will help people have those difficult conversations that they might not usually have.
“I hope it will also help people who are experiencing violence at home to come forward while encouraging people to support others within their community.”
The bee will be visiting schools, Christmas markets and tourist attractions, including the Crich National Tramway Museum, with officers on hand to give advice, answer any questions and talk to visitors.
Alongside the bee touring, communities are being encouraged to get involved to help spread the message, with local knitting groups creating knitted bees to give away and school students asked to colour in bee-themed artwork.
“We have around 500 knitted bees in total and the plan is that when people visit the monument, they will be handed out, with an anti-violence message attached. We hope that people will take them home, share pictures and continue spreading the message on social media using the #Beeunitedagainstviolence hashtag,” added Ellen, who is one member of a small team who has helped make the bee’s visit to Derbyshire possible.
“Of course, engaging with schools is vital too, so we can educate early years about the dangers of carrying weapons.”
The bee echoes the same message that the ‘Knife Angel’ did when it was launched in 2018. The angel is a monument created from 100,000 knives by artists Alfie Bradley and the British Ironworks Centre, the same team that created the insect sculpture.
Ellen continued: “We previously had the opportunity to host the Knife Angel and that was really poignant and emotive, we found that people had a lot to say and a lot of different views on it.
“Getting the conversation started is the key, which is why we jumped at the opportunity to do this again with the Manchester Bee.
“I feel like the bee has, over the years, become a symbol of peace and kindness, which is why the monument will spread such a powerful message throughout Derbyshire over the next few weeks.”
If members would like to see the bee, it will be visiting the following venues over the next couple of weeks: