Stop and search powers used in Harlow to detect and prevent crime
Harlow officers dealt with 18 people for suspected offences including possession of weapons and drugs after using stop and search powers over the weekend.
They were authorised to use powers under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 after a man was found with stab wounds in Terminus Street shortly before 9pm on Friday, June 7.
The legislation gives officers the power to search people for dangerous objects and weapons without the need to have a reasonable suspicion, and was used to prevent further serious violence.
The 18-year-old victim was taken to hospital with wounds to his chest and abdomen. His injuries were not life threatening.
A 21-year-old man who attempted to intervene and help him suffered a cut to his wrist.
The powers were authorised for use in Harlow town centre on Friday night through to the early hours of Saturday; Saturday night through to the early hours of Sunday, and on Sunday afternoon through to midnight.
Officers searched 267 people. Of those, four were arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, one was arrested on suspicion of going equipped for theft, and two were arrested on suspicion of robbery and theft.
Eleven were dealt with for drugs offences and one had their vehicle seized under section 165 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
District commander Chief Inspector Matt Cornish said: “The decision to use a Section 60 power is never taken lightly and we only used them for as long as we felt it was necessary.
“On this occasion, we had a man who was seriously injured and reports of up to eight suspects, at least one of them armed with a knife.
“We felt these extra powers were needed to keep people safe and swiftly deal with anyone intent on committing crime.
“Although those who were stopped were not found to be connected to the stabbing incident, we were able to deal with them for other matters.”
Enquiries remain ongoing into the stabbing on Friday night.
Investigating officer DC Ryan Burgess said: “From our early enquiries, we believe a fight ensued between the victim and a number of other people.
“We are reviewing CCTV and look for the suspects.
“I am keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened or can help us identify who was involved.”
Call Harlow CID on 101 quoting reference 42/89532/19.
Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org