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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Police target youths in 'hoodies'
Police launching a crackdown on street robberies are to stop and search every youngster seen wearing a "hoodie".

Officers in Luton said hooded tops were being used to hide weapons and conceal the identities of offenders.

Det Insp Alan Postawa said people wearing "street clothing" were blamed for more than 60 robberies in the past three weeks.

Extra officers would be drafted on to the town's streets to tackle the "hoodies", he added.

The force denied that they were unfairly targeting youths wearing the sweatshirts, saying it was unfortunate that they had been adopted by criminals.

Youths robbing youths

Det Insp Postawa said: "Most teenage robbers dress in a similar way so targeting people wearing these types of clothes directly may prevent offences as well as detect them.

"It is disturbing that many criminals do wear this type of clothing, but our first responsibility is to protect the public."

Some 61 people have been robbed on the streets of Luton this month, police said, mostly young people being robbed by "prolific" young offenders.

Another 68 robberies were recorded in September, with just 18 detected.

This new campaign is the latest in a long line of campaigns against youths in hooded tops.

Earlier this year Manchester teenager Dale Carroll, 16, was banned from wearing a hooded top for five years after terrorising a community.

And in May of this year the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent was the first to adopt a total "hoodie" ban.

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