Police officers were granted additional stop search powers in Thorplands, Northampton, after a car was shot and people were seen carrying knives on Friday evening.
Officers were granted additional powers under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. This is a distinct power that allows officers to conduct searches without ‘reasonable suspicion' but only when a chief officer believes serious violence will occur. An order for a specified locality and time may be put in place for this to happen.
The additional powers were in place between the hours of 6pm last night, Saturday, November 18, and 1am this morning, Sunday, November 19,
Additional police officers were on patrol last night and conducted four stop searches using the additional powers granted by Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann.
· A 15-year-old boy was found in possession of a samurai sword and arrested for being in possession of an offensive weapon
· A 21-year-old man was stopped while driving a car and found in possession of cannabis
· A car was seized as suspected stolen and the driver had no licence
Chief Inspector Lara Alexander-Lloyd, said: “We are taking the events of Friday night extremely seriously and in a bid to deter further violence last night, requested additional powers from the Deputy Chief Constable to be able to conduct stop searches without the usual grounds required.
“This was granted for a seven hour period for the Thorplands area of Northampton, where the disorder took place on Friday night.
“The decision to extend stop search powers was not taken lightly. However, two people were injured in a shooting at a time when a large group of people were seen carrying knives, and one of our top priorities is to prevent further people being injured.
“Extensive work is taking place to investigate the disorder on Friday night and we continue to appeal to anyone who may have seen what happened, or who has any information about those involved to contact us or Crimestoppers.”
A 22-year-old man arrested by officers on Friday night in connection with the incident, which took place shortly after 6pm in South Holme Court, remains under investigation and in custody this morning.
Chief Inspector Alexander-Lloyd, added: “We will continue to have additional police officers on patrol in Thorplands and I urge anyone with concerns about the events of Friday night to speak to them, or call us on 101.
“We are committed to keeping people safe and I hope our response to the incident offers some reassurance to local people that we are taking this matter seriously.
“Anyone with information about Friday night’s disorder can call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
You can find out more about Stop Search on the Northamptonshire Police website here - http://www.northants.police.uk/information/operations/stop-and-search
Officers are holding a Facebook live chat this afternoon following the incident in Thorplands on Friday night.
We'll have officers, including Head of Investigation Superintendent Dennis Murray and community Chief Inspector Lara Alexander-Lloyd, online between 2pm & 3pm on Sunday, November 19, to answer questions you have. We will try to answer as many as possible during the hour chat, although won’t be able to discuss details of the investigation.