HARLOW College partnered with Essex police to install temporary metal detectors at the main entrance of the college to raise awareness of knife crime.
The metal detectors were installed for just one day as part of a wider police initiative named Operation Sceptre designed to tackle the increase in violent crime across Harlow and the UK.
Sergeant Kevin Mayle who was one of the officers present at the college screening said, “I think a lot of young people don’t realise the consequences of carrying a knife, certainly it’s seen as very serious.”
The college deemed the event a success reiterating that it was aimed at educating students on the implications of carrying knives while also building trust between students and the police.
College vice principle Will Allanson said “It was carried out in a positive way. The police carried out the screening with a smile on their face, letting the students know that they were there to help and educate not to enforce or intimidate”.
The reaction from students towards the police presence and screening process has been generally positive.
A level student Janet Randazzo, 17, commented, “I think it is a good idea to have some form of security check, the police officers were really nice and friendly. I didn’t feel like I was in trouble they were just trying to show us what to do and where to go.”
Although the event was deemed a success with close to 2000 students passing through the detectors, knife crime still poses a threat.
“On the whole it was a positive exercise, however, three knives were recovered, two of which were pen knives which aren’t illegal, but one blade was found abandoned on the floor in the student queue,” said Chief Inspector Matthew Cornish.