POLICE have extended their powers to stop and search youths around Newbury after it was rumoured rival schools are planning to fight.

Since the Section 60 order was enacted on Wednesday (October 16), 37 stop searches took place, four knives were recovered, one arrest was made and a person has been referred to the Youth Offending Team for intervention support.

The order started this afternoon at 2pm, October 18 and will be in place until 2am on October 19 covering Newbury Town Centre, Victoria Park, Northcroft Park and Goldwell Park, where Michaelmas Fair is.

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A knife arch was also deployed for use in Newbury town centre.

Worried parents contacted police after rumours circulated about planned fights at the fairground between rival schools.

A police spokesman said: "We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the fair remains a safe event and the local community should be reassured rather than alarmed by the increased police presence.

"We are encouraged that residents have contacted us, and we will continue to listen to local concerns, and act accordingly to keep Newbury a safe place to enjoy local events.

"Please feel free to speak to officers out and about with concerns that you may have, as they are there to reassure as well as keep the streets safe."