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Harlow College hosts Operation Sceptre knife crime awareness event

Knife arch at Harlow College

As part of the ongoing work to tackle the threat of knife crime officers from Harlow's Community Policing Team joined staff at Harlow College to raise awareness as part of Operation Sceptre week. 

Operation Sceptre is a week-long targeted approach across all 44 police forces in England and Wales that is aimed at tackling knife crime and raising awareness of its impact.

On Tuesday 15 November, knife arches were set up at the main student entrances to screen students as they entered the campus, with plain clothed police officers also stationed around the borders of the college. 

Harlow Community Policing Team Inspector Natalie Rooney said: “Harlow College have always been very supportive of the work we do to reduce knife crime and prevent harm coming to members of the community. Operations like this are valuable in identifying offenders of knife crime and taking knives off the streets”.

“In doing such operations we can identify those that carry weapons and drugs and potentially present risk of harm to others, whilst also providing wider education around the seriousness of the matter. We are very grateful for the cooperation from Harlow College, a partnership approach and working together we can identify those at risk to ensure safeguarding is in place. I am delighted to say that nothing was found during the search.”

Assistant Principal, Sallyann Abdelmoula, said: “Today the college and our local police worked in partnership to educate our young people about the risks of knife crime, drugs and county lines and this aligns with Operation Sceptre Week. The police brought in their knife arch and completed stop and searches to help advise students about the relevant risks and dangers.

“We know criminals target young people as part of county lines and with the cost of living crisis the risks to young people increase.

“The aim of today’s exercise was to advise young people of the relevant dangers that engagement with drugs and criminality present. Often young people don’t appreciate that this is a form of grooming and quickly escalates to more violent and threatening consequences.”

If you’re concerned about drug-related crime in your area or think someone may be a victim of drug exploitation or knife crime, please call us on 101 or report online at

Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity completely anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form

Always call 999 in an emergency.