Officers in Southampton will be able to stop and search anyone in the City Centre and the surrounding areas of Southampton tonight (July 17) after Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 has been authorised.
This emergency power has been implemented following a serious assault that took place in East Park yesterday evening (July 16) where a 27-year-old man suffered a single stab wound. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a stable condition.
We have also received reports that groups of young people may be targeting one another with weapons in the area.
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 5pm tonight (July 17) and 7am tomorrow (July 18). The power can be reviewed at that time and extended if appropriate.
Chief Inspector Ricky Dhanda 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 following the serious assault that took place yesterday evening and concerns raised by the community in relation to groups of youths targeting each other with weapons, this is our response.
“We know that some will think that by advertising this tactic, it inhibits our ability to catch those carrying weapons, however it is important communities are informed we are taking action. It also helps prevent other incidents of serious violence occurring and therefore helps us prevent crime from happening in the first place.
“We are also telling you because we follow the national Best Use of Stop and Search guidance, to inform you as to why there will be an increased police presence and that we are using enhanced powers.