Basingstoke police have been granted emergency powers to stop and search people after 12 robberies occured in the last four days. 

Officers have revealed they will be able to stop and search anyone within the centre of Basingstoke from 3pm today (January 20) until 2am tomorrow (January 21).

The area covers everything inside the ring road, plus parts of Popley.

These powers have been implemented following a number of robberies that have happened in the town over the last four days.

Police say that robberies have taken place in areas across the town, including Shooters Way, Sutton Road, Pear Tree Way, Alencon Link, Turner Close, Glebe Gardens, Flaxfield Road and Church Square.

This comes after seven teenagers were arrested on suspicion of robbery over the weekend, with a noticable trend of victims being young males in their ealy to late teens or early 20s who are walking home alone. 

They include: 

  • A 14-year-old boy from Basingstoke
  • A 14-year-old boy from Tadley
  • A 17-year-old boy from Basingstoke
  • A 15-year-old boy from Basingstoke
  • A 15-year-old boy from Basingstoke
  • A 14-year-old boy from Basingstoke 
  • A 14-year-old girl from Chineham  

Basingstoke Neighbourhood Sergeant, Trevor Taylor, said: "We are asking people but particularly young men to follow common sense advice and try and walk with friends or adults. 

"Don't be distracted by using a mobile phone or listening to music, walk in well lit places and stick to routes where there are lots of other people. 

"If you can avoid it, don't make it obvious if you are carrying expensive gadgets. 

"We would like to reassure the community that there are increased patrols across the town. If you have any concerns, don't hesitatie to approach the officers." 

Police enquiries are ongoing but anyone with information is urged to contact the police by calling 101, quoting reference 44200022645. 

Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

If you see a crime in progress, always call 999. 

What is stop and search and how does it work? 

Stop and search is when a police officer stops and then searches you, your clothes and anything you are carrying. The police can stop and search you: If they think you're carrying a weapon, drugs or stolen property. If they think you are carrying items that could be used to commit a crime or cause criminal damage.

In 1984, section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) gave police the power to stop and search a person of interest, if an officer has 'reasonable grounds' to believe they have been involved in a crime.

Stop and search, also known as 'SUS', is regulated by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Pace) and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and is applicable in England and Wales. 

The practice is controversial, as figures from 2018 show that ethnic minorities are more than four times as likely to be stopped by police, than white people.

In fact, that number appears to be rising, with a report showing that the number of black people stopped in 2018 was 4.3 times higher than white people in 2018, compared with 2.6 times more likely in 2014.