Police were given extra search powers after a knuckleduster, metal pole and a pair of handcuffs where found when they moved on a large group of young men in Crawley.
A police spokesman said an order enabling officers to carry out searches for offensive weapons was used in Bewbush on Sunday and Monday (October 18 and 19).
He said: “Just after midnight on Sunday (October 18) a large group of young men gathered outside an address in Curteys Walk, Bewbush. Police attended and the group dispersed, but several offensive weapons including a knuckleduster, a metal pole and a pair of old metal handcuffs have been found discarded nearby.
“As a result of police enquiries, a 23-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of affray and is currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.”
As a result additional powers were granted to officers to search suspects.
Authorisation under of Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was given by the Chief Constable, for Bewbush, for three hours on Sunday evening and seven hours on Monday evening. This meant a person could be stopped and searched for offensive weapons or dangerous objects during that time without the need for an officer to have specific grounds to justify a search.
The spokesman said a ‘small number’ of searches were carried out and an 18-year old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon, a baseball bat. He was released on bail while enquiries continue.
Detective Sergeant Alex Lowe said; “These events are very localised and involve groups of people known to each other, and to us, in the immediate area only. We are making active enquiries and extra police attention is being paid to the area.
“We are confident that with community co-operation and understanding we can soon resolve this issue. Meanwhile local people can be reassured that we are dealing with it in a robust and professional manner and there is no cause for alarm among the law-abiding community.”
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