A Section 60 authority was issued in a part of Loughton following information about a possible disturbance involving two groups of people.

Essex Police confirmed an increase in police officers on patrol within the town was in place from 3pm yesterday (Monday, January 20) until midnight.

Areas included Traps Hill, Station Road, Roding Road, Oakwood Hill, Willingale Road and both Debden and Loughton underground stations.

It follows concerns about people, potentially with weapons, coming to try and harm others.

A section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Authority allows officers in uniform to stop and search anyone specifically to prevent carrying dangerous instruments or offensive weapons.

Reasonable grounds for suspicion are not required to exercise a Section 60 search.

Officers confirmed that no disturbances were reported last night.

Inspector Tom Mitchell, from the Brentwood and Epping Forest Community Policing Team, said: “We have received information which indicates there may be a disturbance between two groups of people so are taking responsible, proportionate, and proactive measures to ensure this doesn’t happen.

“If you see an increased police presence in this area over the next 24 hours, I don’t want you to worry about it.

“Loughton is a really safe area anyway but we want to keep it that way. We won’t tolerate anyone coming here to commit crime or setting out to harm others and we’ll use all the powers available to us to do that.”