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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Stop-and-search powers extended
Police talk to protestors
Gloucestershire Police have stepped up security around Fairford
Security is to remain tight around RAF Fairford where rarely-invoked anti-terrorist stop-and-search powers have been extended.

Gloucestershire Constabulary originally invoked the powers at the beginning of March.

They were approved by the government and put in place for a period ending on 2 April.

But police applied for an extension and were given permission to extend the period of the powers.

They give officers authorisation to stop vehicles and search them and their occupants.

The law also relates to the stopping and searching of any pedestrians.

We would like to voice our appreciation to residents for their continuing patience
Supt Nigel Avron
Supt Nigel Avron, of Gloucestershire police, said: "The current active military status of RAF Fairford has meant Gloucestershire police have taken steps to increase security around the base.

"The section 44 order is just one aspect of this and anyone coming into the area around the airbase can expect to be stopped and searched.

"We appreciate the inconvenience this can cause to members of the public but would ask them to bear with us.

"In particular we would like to voice our appreciation to residents in the area for their continuing patience with these checks."

Further protests

He said the new extension to the section 44 order would last until 27 April, when it would again be reviewed.

Meanwhile, police at the base were expecting further protests throughout the forthcoming weekend.

Superintendent Nigel Avron, of Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: "The protests planned to take place both locally and nationally this weekend have been well publicised.

"Obviously we must make preparations for every eventuality, and we have had a significant presence at the base throughout the past few months, but it has never been our intention to stand in the way of lawful and peaceful protest."

Fourteen US B-52 bombers have been housed at the base, on the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire border, since the action in Iraq began.

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