Fighting knife crime
Today the Home Secretary urged police chiefs to use stop and search to save more lives, keep our streets safer and bring the dangerous culture of carrying a knife to an end.
- Almost 100,000 weapons have been removed from British streets since 2019 and almost half of which have been seized through stop and search, but more must be done to ensure police have the confidence they need to use powers at their disposal.
- That is why Home Secretary Suella Braverman has written to all 43 police forces in England and Wales, backing common sense policing and urging officers to use the full powers at their disposal to arrest an individual who obstructs a stop and search. She also called on police to publish their body-worn footage quickly – preventing innocent officers from facing trial by social media for their actions.
- There was a problem in the past with what was perceived as a lack of fairness in the application of "stop and search" which the then Home Secretary Theresa May urged police at the time to crack down on. However, with the epidemic of knife crime, and so many young lives lost - and many of them from the very ethnic minority communities which the more careful use of "stop and search" was meant to treat more fairly - it is becoming clear that if the police do not use these powers enough, that would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
- I welcome the fact that the Home Secretary made the point about publishing body-worn camera footage as quickly as possible, as this should make it possible for the police to prove that they are not using "Stop and Search" to victimise and particular community.