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Police react to fair threats

Following engagement with local schools, partners and parents, Thames Valley Police have reacted rumours circulating regarding the potential for planned fights at the Michaelmas Fair.

They say they are taking these threats seriously and officers are continuing to make a number of enquiries into the credibility of these rumours.

Starting this afternoon at 2pm (16/10), a Section 60 order has been authorised and put in place until Thursday morning at 2.00am (17/10), and will cover an area of Newbury, including the town centre, Victoria Park, Northcroft Park and Goldwell Park (the location of the Newbury Michaelmas Fair).

Under the Public Order Act, a Section 60 order temporarily allows officers greater powers to stop and search people for items connected with violence, in a defined location.

Local Policing Area Commander for West Berkshire, Superintendent Nicholas John, said: “Officers will be using these stop and search powers as part of their patrols of the fair and the wider area. Whilst this may sound like a dramatic measure, please do not be worried if you are stopped by an officer. Being stopped and searched does not mean you are in trouble, it is just one method that we are using to ensure weapons are kept off our streets.

“The fair has a long history in Newbury as a fun, family event and we wish it to continue to be just that. As a large local event, a policing presence was always planned for the Michaelmas Fair but we will now increase the number of officers attending in order to ensure our enhanced powers under Section 60 can be put into place.

“The local community should be reassured rather than alarmed by the increased police presence. We are encouraged that residents have contacted us, and we will continue to listen to local concerns, and act accordingly to keep Newbury a safe place to enjoy local events.

“Please feel free to speak to officers out and about with concerns that you may have, as they are there to reassure as well as keep the streets safe.”

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