Police patrols have been increased in Preston and a section 60 order will remain in force until 3am on Monday (January 27) as a result of the three incidents yesterday (January 26).
The first incident took place at around 3:45pm on Sunday when a man in his 50s was approached at Sainsbury’s at Deepdale and stabbed in the abdomen.
At around 6:45pm, a woman in her 20s contacted emergency services and said she had been assaulted in the Blackpool Road area.
She was taken to hospital and treated for a single stab wound, also to her abdomen.
Around five minutes later, a teenage boy was reportedly threatened with a knife and had his bike stolen at Deepdale Retail Park.
Police are treating the three incidents as being linked at this stage.
A 16-year-old boy from Preston has been arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, robbery and section 18 wounding. He is currently in police custody.
What is a Section 60 order?
Under the law a Section 60 stop and search order can be introduced if police believe that "incidents involving serious violence" may take place in their area.
They can do so if an incident involving serious violence has taken place and a dangerous weapon used in the incident is being carried in the area.
A Section 60 can be brought in for up to 24 hours. Police have the power to extend it for a further 24 hours if the threat remains.
Under the special measures officers can stop and search any pedestrian or any vehicle and its occupants in that area.
If a person or driver fails to stop when required to do so then they could face a prison sentence of up to one month, or a stiff fine, or both.
Under the order a dangerous weapon is deemed to be an implement with a blade or which is sharply pointed.