Students were stopped and searched on their college grounds as part of a police operation - but no knives were found.

Knife arches were installed at the entrances to West Herts College in Hempstead Road, Watford.

Uniformed and plain clothed officers were also deployed across the college last Wednesday to search students and talk about the dangers of carrying weapons.

Around 3,500 students passed through the arches during the day. Several people were also stopped and searched within the college grounds but no weapons were found.

PC Kev Ball organised the operation. He said: “Encouragingly, no knives were located and no offences were disclosed to officers during the operation.

“I would like to thank the college and the students for their support and ultimately helping us to prevent incidents involving knives.

“We want to send a clear message that carrying a knife is illegal and extremely dangerous; you are not only putting yourself at risk but could also face a prison sentence if caught.”

Emma Doree, director of student experience, said: “The college works closely with police and has invited Hertfordshire Constabulary on to campus to carry out exercises similar to this for a number of years.

“It is a valuable way of further educating our young people and is worthwhile experience for all involved.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary recently took part in a knife amnesty, which resulted in 47 being surrendered in Watford and 200 across the county.

The amnesty was part of a national campaign, Operation Sceptre, to reduce the number of illegal knives in circulation.