POLICE officers obtained an order allowing them to stop and search anybody in Oxford after ‘concerning violent incidents' in the city.

Thames Valley Police implemented the Section 60 which was in place until 4pm Saturday.

Officers also obtained a dispersal order for the city centre to run until 8pm on Sunday.

The force did not release more details about what had prompted the move.

What is a Section 60 order?

Section 60 is a power that allows police officers to stop and search anyone without suspicion in a particular area - for example, where there is evidence that serious violence has or will take place. 

Usually, people can only be searched if there are 'reasonable grounds' to suspect that they are something illegal - like carrying drugs or a weapon. 

But a Section 60 Order allows officers for a limited time to search anybody without 'reasonable grounds'. 

What is a disperal order?

Under section 34 of the Anti-Social Crime and Disorder Act 2014 police can tell somebody to leave an area if they are likely to be involved in anti-social behaviour or crime.

It is illegal not to comply.

Neighbourhood Inspector James Sullivan, based in Oxford LPA, said: “This Section 60 order has been put in place to reduce the risk of serious violence and offending from taking place.

“Section 60 orders enhance officer powers to stop and search, allowing them to search people without needing to suspect that they may be carrying weapons.

“We will have an increased number of officers in the area whilst this order is in place.

“It is not acceptable for people to be carrying weapons and we are using these powers to make our streets safer for everyone.

“I would encourage the public to feel reassured that this order is being put into place rather than alarmed, and if anyone wishes to speak to an officer then please do so.

“Additionally if you have information about anyone who carries a weapon, I would urge you to report it to police by calling 101 or making a report online.

“Alternatively you can also report 100% anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.”


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