Police in Greenwich have been given special stop-and-search powers tonight across a number of wards.

The Section 60 order will be in effect from now until 6am tomorrow morning for the following wards, Charlton, Woolwich Common and Woolwich Riverside.

The news comes after a week of knife crime across the borough.

On Tuesday (August 27) a teenager went on a knife rampage, which put three women in hospital, ending in the man being tasered and arrested.

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Then on the same day, two teenagers stabbed in Plumstead on Waverley Crescent.

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Last night, August 28, dozens of officers responded to reports of fight in Lamport Close as well as sightings of people in possession of knives.

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What is a Section 60?

A Section 60 gives the police permission to stop and search anyone they believe, with good reason, may commit a serious assault or someone they suspect to be carrying a dangerous weapon.

Officers say that supervision, scrutiny and accountability are seen as key factors to ensure the ‘trust and confidence’ of communities in the use of this power.

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 a Section 60, which will include informing relevant community members of the purpose and success of such an operation.

Even though a Section 60 has been authorised this evening, officers still have the option to use other search powers where reasonable grounds to search exist.