Posted: Tuesday 10 November 2020, 08:59
Today Derbyshire Fire & Rescue (DFRS) is unveiling the latest fire engine to be wrapped with a safety message in support of a community cause. The latest wrapped engine showcases the Knife Angel, which was displayed outside Derby Cathedral last year, to raise awareness of the issues and dangers around carrying knives.
Fire Engines are a common sight within the community so make an excellent billboard for raising awareness of local issues. DFRS currently has two other wrapped engines one wrapped in rainbow colours in support of LGBT+, one promoting the role of an On-Call Firefighter and many more with fire and road safety messages on their locker doors. DFRS has been working in collaboration with Derbyshire Police for several years, and it is hoped that this latest joint message supporting the national anti-knife crime campaign, Operation Sceptre, will help reduce knife crime across the county.
Speaking at the unveiling of the fire engine at Ascot Drive Fire Station, Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Gavin Tomlinson said: “Sadly knife crime is an issue that is reported all too frequently in the news.
“Last year we saw the Knife Angel, a statue made from over 100,000 seized knives, come to Derby Cathedral as part of a national tour to raise awareness of the dangers and issues associated with knife crime.
“As part of our ongoing collaboration with our colleagues at Derbyshire Police, I am proud that we have been able to support their anti-knife crime message and carry on the legacy of the Knife Angel’s visit to Derby, as the fire engine and its important anti-knife crime message is seen across the city.”
The newly wrapped fire engine will be based at Ascot Drive fire station initially.
Superintendent Sarah McAughtrie, who is in charge of Derbyshire police’s response to knife crime, said: “We are very pleased that our partners, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, have taken this step in promoting the anti-knife crime message.
“In Derbyshire, we have witnessed the sad, fatal consequences that carrying a knife can lead to and so anything that can be done to dissuade people from carrying them has our support.
“Whilst we play our part in the fight against knife crime, it is all of our responsibilities to make a stand.
“The visit of the Knife Angel to Derby last year was such a positive event that it is fantastic that its legacy and image will now be seen across the streets of Derbyshire on the side of this fire engine.”
Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It would be hard for anyone who saw the Knife Angel not to be moved by it. It is a potent symbol of a blight that is sweeping the nation, but also acts as a catalyst for change. I hope that by bringing it to Derby we have started conversations, and not just in education settings but also in homes.
I firmly believe that it is only through talking that we are going to stand a chance of breaking the cycle of escalating violence. It is only through talking that we can understand why people feel the need to carry weapons to protect themselves. It is only through talking that we can stop this needless loss of life.
As PCC for Derbyshire I am immensely proud to have been involved as part of the team that brought the Knife Angel to Derby, the first city in the East Midlands to host the statue, and hopefully helped start those all too important conversations.”
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