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Stop and search powers used to target knife crime in Stevenage overnight

Stevenage town centre Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police were given special permission to use stop and search powers on anyone suspected of carrying knives overnight in Stevenage.

Officers targeted people thought to be involved in crime between 11pm on Friday, 22 March, and 8am on Saturday morning.

Insp Patrick McPeaker, from Hertfordshire Police, said the action had been taken because of concerns raised by people living in the area.

He said the checks, carried out under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, were "a way for us to disrupt crime and keep the public safe".

The order was temporary but meant police could stop and search people without needing "reasonable grounds to do so".

"There are serious consequences if you choose to carry a knife. Not only will you face a possible custody sentence and criminal record, which could affect your job prospects in later life, you could case yourself or another person serious injury or even death."

– Insp Patrict McPeaker, Hertfordshire Police

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