Youth Justice Service and Operation Spectre

The 15th of November marked the beginning of Operation Spectre, a week of intensive action by GMP in relation to knife enable crime. Activities conducted by GMP have included; weapons sweeps; educational sessions; retail visits; stop and searches; arrests and campaigns on social media.

As part of this, Oldham Youth Justice Service supported to raise awareness by taking some of the young people they are working with to visit the Knife Angel which is currently located in Blackburn as part of the national tour.

The sculpture, made from over 100,000 seized blades, was specifically created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour whilst solidifying our critical need for social change. Not only does the Angel act as a catalyst for turning the tide on violent and aggressive behaviour, but it is also acts as a beautiful memorial designed to celebrate those lives who have been lost through these violent and thoughtless actions. The full story of the Knife Angel can be found here.

In addition to this , In 2019, and inspired by the Knife Angel, young people open to Oldham YJS helped to create the “Reach” sculpture as part of the Summer Arts College. The sculpture is made from a significant number of knives seized by Greater Manchester Police and was made to raise awareness of knife related crimes and to convey messages of hope to those effected by such incidents. The rotating hand shows signs of fear, alongside signs of courage, dependent on it’s position, and the title of the artwork is indicative being able to reach your full potential, despite adversities you have faced.

As part of Operation Spectre and the renovation of the Positive Steps building, “Reach” is on display to instigate a discussion point for everyone who visits. In the New Year it is hoped that we will be able to open this up to the public.

 YJS Operation Spectre


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