Stop & Search Powers used in Leigh Park following stabbing
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Last night (Wednesday 6 November) and into the early hours of this morning, our officers were out on patrol in Leigh Park where they utilised enhanced stop and search powers under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
These additional powers were authorised following a number of incidents which took place, including a stabbing, after the Stock Heath Common fireworks display on 5 November.
The incidents happened in the surrounding areas, but did not take place at the fireworks display itself.
Section 60 can be implemented in areas where either serious violence has occurred or police believe serious violence is about to occur, and gives officers the power to stop and search anyone in a designated location, looking for offensive weapons or bladed articles.
It means we can stop and search anyone within a defined area between the times given without the ‘reasonable grounds’ required in a normal stop and search.
Targeted patrols were conducted over a 12 hour period between 5pm and 5am, and 13 stop searches were completed, one of which was positive for drugs.
These powers have now been stood down and there are no plans to extend them further at this time.
The public often ask us why we announce the fact that we will be in an area using these powers.
We tell you about our activity because we follow the national Best Use of Stop and Search guidance to inform communities why you may see an increased police presence and when we have enhanced powers.
We know that some will think this inhibits our ability to catch offenders, however it is important communities are informed we are taking action. It also helps prevent other incidents of serious violence occurring and so helps us prevent crime.
Tackling offenders is important to us, but we want them to prevent them from offending to begin with. Last night is a good example, as our presence in the area meant that no further incidents occurred.
We are still appealing for witnesses to the incidents that took place in Catherington Way and Park Parade between 7.30pm and 8pm on 5 November in which two people were assaulted and a man was stabbed.