Section 60 has been implemented in Thornhill and Weston in Southampton
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Officers in Southampton will be able to stop and search anyone in the Thornhill, Weston and the surrounding areas of Southampton tonight (Jan 21) after Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 has been authorised.
This emergency power has been implemented because we believe an incident of serious violence may occur in the area after it was reported that two groups of young people may be targeting one another with weapons this evening (January 21).
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, without the restrictions of normal stop and search.
Officers will be looking to apprehend those looking to cause serious violence and carrying offensive weapons or bladed articles. Officers patrolling the area are able to stop and search anyone while Section 60 is in use.
The threshold to implement a Section 60 power is very high and we have it as a tactic to keep communities safe.
As a result, officers patrolling the area defined in the map will be able to stop and search anyone in the area between 8pm tonight and 8am tomorrow (January 22). The power can be reviewed at that time and extended if appropriate.
Chief Inspector Phil Lamb said: “Section 60 is an emergency tactic. We do not suggest that it is a long term solution to violent disorder or weapon related crime, however we have received concerns raised by the community recently and this is our response.
“We know that some will think this inhibits our ability to catch those carrying weapons, however it is important communities are informed we are taking action. It is also helps prevent other incidents of serious violence occurring and so helps us prevent crime.
“We are telling you 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."