Large area of Skelmersdale placed under Section 60 stop and search order after stabbing
A LARGE area of Skelmersdale was placed under a Section 60 stop and search order last week after a man was stabbed in Ashurst and a further disturbance in Tanhouse.
The stop and search order was in place, covering an area shown in the picture, at the end of last week and finished at 3am on Friday, January 4.
When the order is issued, police can search anyone in a certain area for weapons and it removes the need for suspicion prior to the search, meaning the legal threshold is lowered considerably.
In a post on social media on Thursday, January 3, Skelmersdale Police said the disturbance in Tanhouse took place on the evening of Wednesday, January 2. While the Ashurst stabbing happened the week previously.
A spokesman for Skelmersdale Police said: “The power to search people in such circumstance is not something we take lightly; we make this decision only when we feel there is a heightened risk to the public.
“We need to strike a fair and justified balance between safeguarding the public, and being viewed to be oppressive. The Government's guidance on ‘Best Use of Stop Search’ also dictates that we must notify the public prior to enforcing such an order.
“While this may seem counterproductive, it is done prior to the implementation to advise the public of what is undoubtedly a huge change in your human rights.
“The police also have a duty of care to the public to notify them of what is a perceived rise in the risk of harm. The implementation and advertisement of a section 60 is a response employed to act as both a deterrent for further incident and a tactic for detecting those committing crime. It is not a power which can be used without a clear justification due to the implications it can carry.
“We are work closely with our partners at West Lancashire Borough Council to ensure any persons convicted of knife crime are considered for eviction from any local authority housing.
“Please ensure that this message is communicated amongst your household if you feel someone within it may carry a knife. Please help us to help you, if you have any information which could help protect the public we encourage you to contact us on 101 or alternatively via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”