• Greenwich NHW Network

Section 60 in place this evening in North Greenwich

Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (s.60) gives police the right to search people in a defined area during a specific time period when they believe, with good reason, that: serious violence will take place and it is necessary to use this power to prevent such violence; or that a person is carrying a dangerous object or offensive weapon; or that an incident involving serious violence has taken place and a dangerous instrument or offensive weapon used in the incident is being carried in the locality.

S.60 is a legitimate power and a tactical option for the MPS to use in the prevention of serious violence and the detection of dangerous instruments and offensive weapons (and in certain circumstances, the removal of items worn wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing identity). Supervision, scrutiny and accountability are seen as key factors to ensure the ‘trust and confidence’ of communities in the use of this power.

In the MPS only a senior ACPO Ranking officer can authorise s.60, in line with the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme. The authorising officer must have reasonable grounds to implement the power and they must believe it is necessary to use this power.

An officer of Superintendent Rank will be responsible for overseeing the operational use of s.60, this will include informing relevant community members of the purpose and success of a s.60 operation. Through this approach, community views and intelligence can be received, which allows us to more effectively assess the potential impact of a section 60 authorisation.

Authorisations must be justified on the basis that the exercise of the power is a proportionate and necessary response for achieving the purpose for which Parliament provided the power.

S.60 is different to other stop and search powers in that it requires the authority of a senior officer, and officers carrying out searches using this power are not required to have reasonable grounds to suspect that the person or vehicle is carrying weapons or dangerous objects.

The selection of pedestrians and vehicles to be stopped, and if appropriate searched under s.60, should reflect an objective assessment of the nature of the incident or weapon in question and the individuals and vehicles likely to be associated with that incident or those weapons. It is key to confidence and satisfaction that the rationale for the search is communicated to the person stopped.

Even though a s.60 is authorised, officers still have the option to use other search powers where reasonable grounds to search exist.

Leaflets, social media via Twitter, and Matrix signs must be used to advise the public in the locality of a s.60 authority when the power is implemented.

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