POLICE officers will now be able to stop and search anyone in south Reading and west Reading after a double stabbing.

Thames Valley Police launched an attempted murder investigation after two 16 year olds were stabbed in Tilehurst.

It happened in Lucey Close on Saturday about 11.30pm.

The force has now issued an order to allow its officers to stop and search anyone within the boundaries of the order.

This includes Tilehurst between the A4 Bath Road, the A329 Oxford Road, and West Reading Train Station.

Officers will also have greater powers across Coley, Whitley, and areas from the A4 Bath Road, A33, M4, Shinfield Road, and the IDR.

Reading Chronicle:

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, Head of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, said: “There will be an increased presence of uniformed police officers in these areas in order to provide reassurance and to prevent a re-occurrence of any such incident.

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“Officers have been given authority to use their powers under Section 60 with effect from 7pm on September 13, and the powers will last for 24 hours.

“The order exists to help the police prevent serious violence, and the police can use these powers where serious violence has taken place or where the police think it may take place. The new order will not be permanent, however it is necessary for the time being."

What is a Section 60 Order?

Section 60 is a power that allows police officers to stop and search anyone without suspicion in a particular area - for example, where there is evidence that serious violence has or will take place.

Usually, people can only be searched if there are 'reasonable grounds' to suspect that they are something illegal - like carrying drugs or a weapon.

But a Section 60 Order allows officers for a limited time to search anybody without 'reasonable grounds'.

The new order is expected to last for 24 hours until 7pm today (September 14).

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Supt Gilmour added: “Whilst this may sound alarming, the Section 60 order is simply a measure used to prevent incidents of violence.

“Please do not be worried if you are stopped by an officer as this does not mean that you are in trouble, this is just one method that we are using to ensure weapons are kept off our streets.

“You will see an increased police presence in these areas whilst the order is in place and we do expect to carry out more stop and searches than usual.”