Police officers will have greater powers to stop and search residents for another 24 hours after a man was stabbed in Whitley. 

This incident occurred on Saturday, May 7, at around 3.10pm when a man in his twenties was approached by a balaclava-clad offender who had some stolen items in his possession. 

During their interaction, the man sustained stab wounds. 

This came before another incident in Whitley, on Blagdon Road, just after midnight on Wednesday, May 11. 

A group of men in balaclavas confronted a teenage boy, who was injured after being assaulted. 

In response to these ‘serious’ incidents, Thames Valley Police officers were granted section 60 powers on Wednesday, May 11. 

This means officers can stop and search anyone in a defined area. 

A map shows the boundary of the affected area, which includes Whitley Wood Road, Basingstoke Road and Shinfield Road. 

Reading Chronicle:

A Section 60 can only be put in place in a defined area at a specific time when a senior officer believes there is a possibility of serious violence, or weapons being carried.

The order has now been extended for another 24 hours, lasting until 4pm on May 13.  

Local Policing Area Deputy Commander for Reading, Chief Inspector Andy Penrith, said: “This order has been put in place following two serious assaults that have taken place in a short space of time in the Whitley area where the victims were left with injuries.

“This order is in place to ensure public safety, while also giving police extra power to search people who they think could be involved in violence, and to take weapons off the street.

“I understand that an order of this nature could cause concern, but whilst a Section 60 order may sound alarming, enhancing our stop and search powers provides us with another tactic to quickly identify and disrupt those carrying weapons.

“If you are stopped by an officer, please do not be worried as this does not mean that you are in trouble. You will see more police officers in the area whilst the order is in place and we expect to carry out more stop and searches than usual. 

“Officers who are out and about are there to reassure you as well as using their powers under Section 60 so please do stop and speak with them about any concerns that you have.

“We are appealing to anyone who has any information about either of these incidents to contact police, either online or by calling 101 quoting reference number 43220203656.

“If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information to the independent charity Crimestoppers online or on 0800 555 111.”