A new order giving police additional stop and search powers in areas of east Leeds has been put in place today as part of ongoing work to deter serious violence following an incident in which a teenager's hand was chopped off with a machete.Senior officers at Leeds District originally authorised the use of Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 on Wednesday following the incident in Stanks Parade, Swarcliffe, on Tuesday night where an 18-year-old man was attacked with a machete.
A 24-year-old man has been charged with conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and violent disorder in relation to the incident. He appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court today, where he was remanded in custody pending a further hearing.
What is a Section 60 stop and search order?
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The Section 60 order gives officers the power to search people or vehicles for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments in a defined area for a set period to prevent serious violence.
It means anyone in that area may be searched for weapons without police officers having to have reasonable grounds to suspect each person searched.
The first order was made on Wednesday for an initial 24 hours and then extended for a further 24 hours following a review. The legislation allows a maximum period of 48 hours.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "The order had been made on the basis of information suggesting a link between Tuesday’s attack and previous incidents, including assaults and criminal damage, involving rival groups in the area.
"A new order has been considered and authorised today from 4pm for 24 hours and will be reviewed tomorrow.
"It covers an area of east Leeds encompassing Harehills, Gipton, Halton Moor, Swarcliffe and adjoining areas either side of the A64."
Superintendent Russ Hughes, of Leeds District, said: “Having given very careful consideration to the latest intelligence and information that we have, I consider that there remains a clear need for the continued use of Section 60 powers to target and deter those carrying weapons, with the aim of preventing any further serious violence.
“The feedback we are getting through our local neighbourhood policing teams is that people in the communities involved are widely supportive of our continued use of this tactic.
“We do however recognise the need for openness and accountability and are continuing to work closely with local community representatives to that end.
“The carrying of weapons and their use to commit serious violence is completely unacceptable and creates understandable concern in the community. We are determined to keep doing everything we can to disrupt, deter and bring to justice those who involve themselves in this type of criminal behaviour.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference 13210182460 or online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat
Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.