A TEENAGER was arrested after he was caught carrying a knife by plain clothes police officers.

Cheshire Police has increased patrols of uniformed and plain clothes police officers in the town in recent days after a spate of robberies committed against pupils as they cycled home from school.

One such patrol stopped a 17-year-old boy on Ashfield Gardens in Latchford at around 3pm on Tuesday, February 11.

The teen had been ‘acting suspiciously’ and was found with a knife hidden up his sleeve when searched.

Yesterday, Wednesday, he appeared at Warrington Magistrates Court where he admitted possession of a bladed article in a public place.

Magistrates ordered the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to pay £85 court costs and a £21 victim surcharge.

The defendant was also referred to the youth offenders’ panel.

Detective inspector Chris Maddocks: “Due to a number of recent incidents across Warrington we have increased patrols to reassure the public and deter offenders.

“In this case the teenager was stopped by officers because he was acting suspiciously, and they recovered the knife.

“These patrols will continue over the coming weeks and should come as a warning to anyone who is considering carrying a weapon in a public place.”

Police have stepped up the patrols following the string of robberies in recent weeks,

Boys aged as young as 12 have been robbed of their bikes as they walked home from school in areas including Orford, Latchford, Woolston, Birchwood and Old Hall in recent weeks.

Officers have also warned youngsters not to travel home from school alone and to avoid parks and back alleys.