Bosses at Newcastle College say handheld metal detector wands will help support their pro-active work around knife crime.
It has been awarded £1,000 by the Newcastle Partnership community safety group for the devices, and random selection generators for use on campus.
They will be used to search students and visitors based on any potential intelligence, as well as to carry out random spot checks during safety awareness sessions throughout the year.
The introduction of the equipment comes after the college has been working with police to highlight the issue the students.
More than 1,200 recently attended events as part of a “Safe and Sound” project on gangs and knife crime, and officers from Staffordshire Police are making their latest educational visit today during Operation Sceptre - a week-long national operation aiming to tackle knife crime using learning and enforcement activities.
Lesley Morrey, Director of Student Engagement & Partnerships, said: “We value the support and funding from the Newcastle Partnership as it allows to us to respond at a local level to the recent national plea for more action to be taken to reduce knife crime.
"As a college, we take the issue of student safeguarding extremely seriously and the funding will not only allow us to make a step change in our existing security measures, it will also allow us to raise further awareness of the risks of carrying weapons, which in conjunction with the powerful work being undertaken by Staffordshire Police will no doubt have a positive impact on the college and the wider community we serve.”
An example of a metal detector wand
Cllr. Jill Waring, Newcastle Borough Council Cabinet member for community safety and well-being, said: “The partnership is pleased to support the college’s pro-active work around knife crime, supported through the use of this technology.
"Metal detector wands are now being used successfully across the country and are a good preventative and detection measure. They are there to improve the quality of targeted searches and make them less intrusive.
“We’ve all seen in the national news the devastating impact that knife crime has on victims and their families. More young people are choosing to put knives in their pockets to ‘protect’ themselves when in reality, carrying one is more likely to ruin their life.
"This is very worrying and has a major impact on the safety of the community where they live. While incidents are low in Staffordshire, anything that can help to reduce risks has to be welcomed. Prevention is better than cure.
“This is nothing to be alarmed about – I hope that students, parents, staff, visitors and residents feel even more reassured that all possible steps are being taken to ensure the college and surrounding areas remain safe, positive and welcoming places for everyone.”