Extra Search Powers In Place In Camden Following Fatal Stabbing

5 April 2019, 16:13

Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Steve House observing a bag search at Angel underground station
Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Steve House observing a bag search at Angel underground station. Picture: PA

Extra stop and search powers are in place across the Camden Borough, following the murder of Calvin Bungisa in Kentish Town.

Senior police officers have authorised several Section 60 areas, which allow officers to search someone without the need for "reasonable grounds". The powers will be in place until 04:00am Saturday morning.

The move follows local concerns over potential retaliation attacks. No one has yet been arrested in connection with Calvin’s death.

Police said that officers will use this preventative search power to target anyone they think may be carrying weapons. "We will not tolerate violence. Anyone found with weapons on them will be arrested."

Monday's knife death is London's 20th this year, as the number of homicides in the capital reaches 135.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister held a knife crime summit in Downing Street with 100 experts gathering to discuss the problem.

At the summit Mrs May said that she will "always make sure that the resources and tools are there to be able to apprehend and deal with those who are carrying and using knives and that the police have what they need to do."

Earlier this week Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary spoke about plans to make it easier for the police to carry out Section 60 searches. He said: "The police are on the front line in the battle against serious violence and it's vital we give them the right tools to do their jobs."

A trial scheme is in place in seven police force areas which have high knife crime figures. The scheme means that police inspectors will now be able to authorise the powers in London, the West Midlands, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Wales and Greater Manchester. Previously, higher ranking officers had to give approval.

The threshold for use of the power will also be lower, police will only need to reasonably believe that serious violence "may" occur, not that it "will".

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