Officers in Crewe have been given more powers to stop and search anyone they suspect of carrying a weapon.
It follows concerns raised by the community in the wake of a small number of knife-related incidents in the town. The powers have been granted temporarily under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994), and come during a national week of action (Operation Sceptre) focused on tackling knife crime.
The order means that officers can stop and search any person or vehicle for a weapon, whether or not they have any grounds of suspicion.
The powers will be in place from 2pm on Thursday 14 March until 2am on Monday 18 March. It applies to an area to cover Nantwich Road (including the platforms of the railway station), Edleston Road, Mill Street, Camm Street, Lord Street, Gresty Road, Culland Street, Ernest Street, Wood Street, Edward Street, Bedford Street, Furnival Street, Westminster Street (including the park) Walthall Street, Catherine Street, Brooklyn Street, Frances Street, Nile Street, and Nelson Street.
Chief Inspector Simon Newell, of Crewe Local Policing Unit, said: “There has been a lot of talk nationally about knife crime and we’re very aware that this can cause alarm on a local level too.
“In Crewe there have been a small number of incidents involving knives, but I’m keen to stress that we are taking the matter seriously and this extension of our existing powers to stop and search should demonstrate that.
“We are working with residents, businesses and in our schools to provide education to tackle knife crime because this is not an issue that the police can solve alone – we need the support of the whole community.”
Officers will be in the Nantwich Road area during this period to provide reassure to local people and they will be able to use these new powers if necessary. Police Community Support Officers will also be talking to residents and businesses to highlight what the Constabulary is doing to tackle knife crime in their area, while British Transport Police will have the option to utilise the powers at the town’s railway station.
Anyone who has any information about someone carrying a weapon is urged to contact police on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Residents are also reminded that, as part of Operation Sceptre, there is a knife surrender bin at the helpdesk of Crewe Police Station where people can discard of unwanted or illegal weapons. Local officers are also planning on carrying out ‘knife sweeps’ in local parks to recover any weapons, which may have been hidden or discarded.