Crackdown on serious violence continues in Southampton this weekend
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Officers in Southampton are continuing their crackdown on serious violence this weekend.
Last night officers in Sholing, Thornhill and Weston were given additional powers to stop and search anyone as part of an operation to tackle violence in the area.
The action came following reports on Thursday evening of groups of young people with weapons in Sholing.
Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 allows officers to stop and search anyone in a designated area and look for offensive weapons or bladed articles.
It was authorised at 4pm yesterday (September 27) and remained in place until 3am today.
The additional powers can be implemented in an area where either serious violence has happened or where police believe there is an immediate threat of serious violence.
Last night three groups of youths were stopped and eight people were searched. No weapons were found and advice was given.
The section 60 is no longer in place, however our work continues within these neighbourhoods.
Extra patrols will be taking place throughout the weekend, officers will be making house-to-house enquiries, visiting those who were stopped last night and carrying out searches in local parks.
Officers will also continue to use their standard stop and search powers if required.
Section 60 remains a tactic for us and if necessary, we will look to using these powers again.
Chief Inspector Phil Lamb said: “We don’t take the decision to use these additional powers lightly but we will do whatever it takes to keep our communities safe from those looking to cause harm to others.
“As a result of the action we took yesterday, I am pleased to say there was no repeat of what happened the night before.
“Our officers received great support from the community last night during their patrols and I would like to thank everyone for this because it really does makes a difference.
“I know a lot of people were asking why we were letting people know about the action we were taking but it is important for us to let our communities know why we are in their neighbourhood and what powers we have.
“Having the support of our communities is invaluable and hopefully the news of our work will have reassured those living and working in the area.
“We are continuing to work hard, with our partners, to tackle serious violence and if you have any concerns, please speak to our officers who will be in the area throughout the weekend.
“We will be constantly reviewing the situation and we will consider using these powers again if we believe it is necessary to keep you safe.”