POLICE have extended stop-and-search powers for the THIRD day in a row this week, following an attempted murder in Reading.

The Section 60 stop and search order, which has been extended for yet another 24 hours, allows police to stop and search anyone in the West Reading area, with or without reasonable grounds to do so.

The area affected stretches from the Reading town centre down to Whitley Wood, and then along the West Berkshire border up to the edge of Tilehurst.

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Reading Chronicle:

The extension of powers was granted to police following an incident in Coley Park, Reading, where a 44-year old man suffered serious stabbing injuries.

The powers will be granted for an additional 24 hours from 5.30pm today, September 23, and may be extended at the end of the time limit.

Local Policing Area Commander for Reading, Superintendent Nick John, said: “We have kept this order under regular review since first enacting it on Monday.

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“It is in place in order to prevent a repeat of the incident of Saturday, and I do understand the concerns that this order has caused in the local community.

“I would like to again re-assure you all, however, that this order is in place to protect the public.

“Using our increased powers, we are able to stop and search anybody within a defined area while it is activated, with or without reasonable grounds.

“During this period, there will be a continued increased presence of uniformed police officers in these areas in order to provide reassurance and to prevent any reoccurrence of any such incidents from taking place.

“Under the order, our officers have been given authority to use these powers under Section 60, extended for a further 24 hours from 5.30pm today.

“As I have previously stated, we do not take these decisions lightly, and these orders exist to help the police prevent serious violence, and we can use these powers where serious violence has taken place or where we think it may take place.

“Although this will be the third day that the order has been in place, I would like to re-iterate that this will not be permanent, but I do believe it is still necessary for the time being.

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“Although this may sound alarming, the Section 60 is just one of the many measures we can use on occasions 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.

“While this order remains in place, we do expect to carry out further stop and searches.

“Please do not hesitate to speak to one of our officers with any concerns that you may have.

"They will be happy to address these with you and also offer any advice or reassurance that you require."

If you want more information on stop and search, and particularly Section 60, visit thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/st-s/stop-and-search/why-we-use-stop-and-search/.