South Yorkshire Police has been granted extra powers to stop and search people this bank holiday weekend in the wake of a number of fatal stabbings in Sheffield.
The force has been handed the Section 60 order under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which will be in place from 7pm this evening to 6am tomorrow, with the option to extend it across the bank holiday weekend.
It will be in force in Lowedges and Manor after two teenagers were killed this week after being stabbed.
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Officers can usually only stop and search someone if they have reasonable suspicion about the individual.
But the order removes this requirement, meaning they can search anyone they deem necessary.
It is used as a way of deterring people from carrying offensive weapons in the wake of serious crimes.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton, district commander for Sheffield, said: “I understand the recent incidents will have shocked our local communities, and I would like to offer my up most commitment that knife crime will not be tolerated and we will take all appropriate steps to stop this.
“The decision we have taken to enforce this authority is primarily to reassure our communities, to continue to keep people safe and take action against anyone putting not only themselves, but others lives at risk by carrying a knife.
“I feel this action is necessary, proportionate and is what the community would expect from us in response to such a tragic week in Sheffield.
A 15-year-old boy, named locally but not formally identified by police yet as Sam Baker, was stabbed in Lowedges Road, Lowedges, last night at about 7.50pm and died an hour later in hospital.
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A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being questioned by police officers today.
This latest tragedy follows another knife attack in Tannery Close, Woodhouse, on Tuesday night, in which 19-year-old Ryan Jowle was killed.
An 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of murder. The woman was released on bail, while the man remains in custody today.
It also comes just 11 weeks after dad-of-three Jarvin Blake, aged 22, was knifed to death in broad daylight on the streets of Burngreave.
A number of people have been arrested in connection with his death but nobody has been charged.
In addition, a 19-year-old man was stabbed on City Road on Monday.
None of the incidents are believed by police to be linked at this stage.
Chief Supt Barton added: "This is just one of many measures we are taking, along with proactive operations, ongoing engagement and education events, partnership work and a dedicated #DropTheKnife campaign."
"However, we also need families, friends and members of the public to work with us to raise awareness of and provide education on the dangers of carrying knives and the devastating consequences they can have.
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“I’d like to make it very clear that if you are found carrying a knife you will be arrested and you run the risk of facing up to four years in prison.
“Our number one priority is the safety of everyone and I would urge anyone with any concerns to speak to either us, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”