Worthing officers get Hallowe'en stop and search powers in light of youth violence
Worthing officers have been given boosted stop and search powers this Hallowe'en in light of youth violence in the town.
The section 60 and 60aa order of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 will allow officers to conduct stop and searches and to remove face coverings across in the Worthing district for a limited period from Midday on Thursday (October 31) for 15 hours without grounds, police said.
A force spokesman said: "The order is in response to the recent anti-social behaviour and violence involving and affecting youths in the area and its introduction has been carefully considered."
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“The vast majority of recent incidents of violent behaviour are linked to a small group of young people and this order is a short-term measure aimed at targeting and disrupting them and it complements work that we are doing in partnership with other agencies and the local community to reduce violence among young people."
The order will allow police officers to search anyone and seize any weapons found in Worthing without grounds until 3am on Friday (November 1). Those who fail to submit to a search will be committing a criminal offence, police said.
CI Leadbeatter urged parents to do their bit. She said: “For parents of children going out during this festive period please take the time to explain the stop and search order and encourage them to speak to our officers if they have any concerns. There will be an enhanced level of policing in place this evening and I hope that those young people and adults who are out to enjoy themselves will find this reassuring.
“We need the community’s support and help to tackle this unacceptable behaviour. We are aware some of you are feeling intimidated by the small group who are behind the majority of the violence and we need you to come forward to us to aid our investigations.
“There are many ways you can report matters of concern either to us online or by calling 101 or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers or Fearless.”