Thurrock Community Policing Team hosted a football tournament for young people while raising awareness of a knife crime charity.

On Saturday officers from Thurrock Community Policing Team hosted a ‘Kick Off @ 3’ football tournament for boys and girls aged 13 – 16 years old at Lakeside Sports Ground in west Thurrock.

The event saw 160 children attend with total of 47 games played throughout the day.

Each football pitch was supervised by Community Policing Team Officers who supported the teenagers alongside their coaches.

Officers and children started the event with a minute silence to honour victims of knife crime.

The football tournament is part of a national scheme, which has seen hundreds of children involved in sport and engaging with police officers across the country.

Officers hosted the event to engage with the community and raise money for the charity ‘Only Cowards Carry’, which raises awareness of knife crime and the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

The charity helps educate young people, parents and teachers about knife crime by running weapons awareness programmes.

The overall winners of the tournament were 'St Cleres' and 'Evolve 7' who will play in the national ‘Kick Off @ 3’ final in July this year.

Chief Inspector Claire Talbot, District Commander for Thurrock, said: “We’re pleased to see so many members of the public, young people and officers come together for our community event.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the local businesses and community groups who have supported us and helped make our event possible. My officers thoroughly enjoyed being involved and were pleased to bring ‘Kick Off @ 3’ to Thurrock especially with hundreds of young people wishing to take part.

“Events like these play a key part in helping to bring our communities together to make Essex a fun and safe place to live.”