Police stop and search 150 people over three days in Preston knife crime crackdown
At least 150 people have been stopped and searched by police in Preston as part of a three-day crackdown on knife crime.
Lancashire Police has been granted special powers to stop and search people this week as the force responds to a surge in knife crime in the city.
Police were issued Section 60 powers as part of ramped up patrols in the Fishwick and St Matthews area of the city.
Section 60 powers are rarely used and can only be authorised in an area where police believe there is a serious risk of violence.
Officers stopped 52 people and 7 vehicles were searched during a 12-hour period between 6pm yesterday (Wednesday, March 13) and 6am today (Thursday, March 14).
No arrests were made and no knives or other weapons were seized.
It follows stop and search operations in the same areas on Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday (March 11), officers stopped and searched 43 people, as well as three vehicles. No one was arrested.
Officers also searched 55 people and 15 vehicles on Tuesday (March 12).
It means a total of 150 people and 25 vehicles have been searched in a three-day period from Monday evening to Thursday morning.
A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and a 34-year-old man was held on suspicion of possessing a class A controlled drug.
The stop and search powers were triggered by Lancashire Police after four teenagers, between the ages of 14 and 17, were stabbed in a ten-day period between March 1 and March 11.
A police spokesman said: "We would like to thank the community for their on-going support and compliance whilst we have been in the area carrying out the searches.
"Please be assured that that this is not about targeting innocent people, it’s us making sure we’re doing all we can to keep you safe.
"Knife crime will not be tolerated in our communities. We are committed to keeping our communities safe and tackling violent crime is a priority for us. We will continue to work 24/7 and 365 days of the year and to act on intelligence."
You can report information to Lancashire Police on 101, or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Teenage stabbings in Preston this month
1. On Saturday, March 2, a teenage boy and girl, both aged 16, were arrested over the stabbing of a 17-year-old girl in Fulwood.
2. On Monday, March 4, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in the arm during a confrontation between rival youth gangs outside Runshaw College in Leyland.
Two men aged 18, both from Preston, an 18-year-old man from Kirkham and three 17-year-old boys from Preston were arrested on suspicion of public order offences.
Machetes and knives were later recovered nearby by the police dog unit.
3. On Friday, March 8, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in Rowan Avenue, Ribbleton at around 5.15pm in what police believe was a targeted attack.
4. Two days later, on Sunday, March 10, officers were given the power to stop and search people and vehicles without suspicion following the stabbing of a 14-year-old boy in Samuel Street, off New Hall Lane, at around 11.30pm.