Police have brought in an overnight stop and search order in an area of Preston where a schoolboy was stabbed.
The order was brought in for Fishwick and St Matthews from 6pm today to 6am tomorrow after the 14-year-old suffered "serious" knife wounds on an attack late on Sunday night.
Officers have the power to search people of vehicles without suspicion following the stabbing in Samuel Street, off New Hall Lane, around 11.30pm.
Three men in their twenties were arrested in connection with the attack. But police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We currently have a Section 60 in place in the Fishwick and St Matthews areas of Preston.
"This follows an incident where a 14-year-old boy suffered knife wounds. It is believed he had been attacked by a group of men on or close to Samuel Street.
"A Section 60 gives us the power to search people or vehicles without suspicion in an area where we believe violence could take place.
"This should not overly concern people. It’s not about targeting people, it is about making sure we do all we can to keep people safe."
Officers say they were called after the victim attended the Royal Preston Hospital with wounds to his arm, hand, leg and ankle.
His injuries are said to be serious. but not life threatening.
Chief Insp Steve Sansbury said: “I would like to reassure people that we believe this was a targeted attack but I appreciate this will have caused concern for the public in this area and people will see extra police officers out an about on the streets.
"People should feel free to approach an officer if they have any concerns or information they feel could help.
“We need the community to work with us and report any information to the police.
"If you know anything in relation to this incident or indeed any potential on-going criminal activity in the area, please contact us as soon as possible.”
The three men arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent are said to be aged 21, 22 and 24.
The incident in Preston comes as Lancashire Constabulary supports a week of action aimed at reducing knife crime.
Operation Sceptre, which runs from March 11th to 15th, is a national campaign targeting knife crime and those who carry knives.
A spokesman said: "While Lancashire is not experiencing the same tragic levels of knife crime seen in other parts of the country, we are keen to stress that any incident involving a knife could have deadly consequences and destroy lives.
"And while there is a focus on activity during this week, our commitment to taking knives off the streets will continue longer term and involve key partners including schools and colleges, health services and trading standards."
Chief Supt Neil Ashton, joint Head of Crime at Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Too many families have been affected by knife crime and just one person being stabbed is one too many. The consequences of carrying and using a knife can be devastating and potentially life-threatening.
"We take all reports of offences involving a knife extremely seriously and we will continue to use all the powers at our disposal – such as Section 60 orders – in areas where we identify there is an issue."