An increase in violent crimes gives rise to a further “section 60” order being put in place over Milton Keynes

You may have read that MKFM’s recent article of Sunday 8 May 2022 which explained that, due to the significant rise of violent crimes in Milton Keynes and more particularly the two violent incidents that took place on 4 May 2022, Thames Valley Police placed a “section 60 order” over parts of the Borough.

So, what is a section 60 order?

Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 provides the Police with additional powers to stop and search a person in anticipation of (or after) an act of violence. Under section 60, officers are authorised to search any designated locality within their police area for up to 24 hours, if they reasonably believe that:

  • an incident involving serious violence may take place;
  • a dangerous instrument or offensive weapon used in the incident is being carried in any locality within their police area; and
  • it is expedient to give an authorisation under this section to find the instrument or weapon; or that
  • persons are carrying dangerous instruments or offensive weapons in any locality in his police area without good reason

Who can be stopped?

A Section 60 order allows a constable in uniform to: (1) stop any pedestrian and search him/her or anything carried by him/her for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments; and to (2) stop any vehicle and search the vehicle, its driver and any passenger for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments.

Importantly, once a Section 60 authorisation is in place, officers do not need to have to have suspicions about a particular individual prior to stopping them. However, the Police are required to explain to an individual who has been stopped that a Section 60 authorisation is in place and the nature of the power.

In addition, any individual who is stopped under the power, either on foot or in a vehicle, is entitled to obtain a written statement of the search from the constable, if they apply for it within 12 months of the occasion.

Refusing to stop

Failure to stop or to stop a vehicle when required to do so under section 60 powers is a criminal offence in itself and should charges be brought the Magistrates have the power to impose a penalty of up to one month’s imprisonment, a level 3 fine (i.e., up to £1,000), or both.

Should you need to speak with one of our specialist Criminal defence lawyers in relation to Section 60 authorisations or any other matter, please contact us on 0344 967 2505.

-Asha Ali



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