Police were able to stop and search members of the public believed to be carrying knives this morning after a man and a teenager were stabbed in Stevenage.

A teenage boy and a man sustained stab wounds in Holly Copse at 8.56pm yesterday.

Armed police and the ambulance service were called, and the victims were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Officers are carrying out enquiries and searching for the offenders, who are believed to be three males, and police have been granted authorisation to stop and search members of the public today who are suspected to be carrying knives.

The stop and search powers, under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, are in place from 12.01am today.

They will be in place in the following roads: Gunnels Wood Road, Hitchin Road, Corey Mills Lane, North Road, Martins Way, Verity Way, Fairlands Way, Gresley Way and Broadhall Way.

A Section 60 temporarily gives additional powers to police officers, which allow them to stop and search anyone in a particular area for a set period of time, without requiring reasonable grounds to do so.

This legislation is different to the stop and search powers they already have, which can be used at any time and - when used - do require reasonable grounds.

Under the Home Office's best use of stop and search scheme Herts police will, where practicable, publicise Section 60s to the public.

Chief Insp Pete Frost said: "These measures are in response to reports of a teenage boy and a man sustaining stab wounds in Holly Copse.

"I would like to reassure the community that those involved are believed to be known to one another.

"There are serious consequences if you choose to carry a knife. Not only will you face a possible custodial sentence and criminal record, which could affect your job prospects in later life, but you could cause yourself or another person serious injury or worse. "While some people feel pressured to carry a knife, perhaps as protection or because their friends say it will earn them respect or make others fear them, the truth is that it simply puts you in more danger."

Any witnesses, or anyone with information, should contact Herts police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting ISR 714 of November 7.