Police told to ramp up stop and search using their ‘full powers’ to take weapons off the streets

19 June 2023, 12:27

The Home Office wants police to be more ready to use their powers of stop and search
The Home Office wants police to be more ready to use their powers of stop and search. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Police have been urged to increase the use of stop and search powers to stop the ‘scourge’ of weapons on the streets.

The Home Secretary wants officers to have the ‘confidence’ to be able to use the controversial tactic to prevent knife attacks.

In a statement to all 43 forces in England and Wales, Suella Braverman said officers who use the powers have her ‘full support.’

Critics say the tactic disproportionately targets black and ethnic communities.

Read more: Furious student late for school rips banners away from Just Stop Oil protestors slow-marching through road

Read more: Football fan, 33, pleads guilty after wearing shirt with offensive reference to Hillsborough disaster at FA Cup final

A female police officer performs a stop and search of a suspect in Walworth, Southwark during an all female operation by the Metropolitan Police, the first of its kind for the force on International Women's Day
A female police officer performs a stop and search of a suspect in Walworth, Southwark during an all female operation by the Metropolitan Police, the first of its kind for the force on International Women's Day. Picture: Alamy

She also wants police to arrest people and investigate instances where they unlawfully obstruct a ‘stop and search’ in progress.

She says police should release body-worn footage more quickly, so as to stop videos of people being arrested going viral on social media.

In remarks that appear to be aimed at addressing anticipated criticism, Braverman said young black males were disproportionately affected by knife crime.

Her statement says: “Carrying weapons is a scourge on our society, and anyone doing so is risking their own lives as well as the lives of those around them. This dangerous culture must be brought to a stop.

“My first priority is to keep the public safe, and people who insist on carrying a weapon must know that there will be consequences. The police have my full support to ramp up the use of stop and search, wherever necessary, to prevent violence and save more lives.

“Every death from knife crime is a tragedy. That’s why I also back the police in tackling this blight in communities which are disproportionately affected, such as among young black males. We need to do everything in our power to crack down on this violence.”

The Home Office released statistics that say last year to March 2022, 99 young people lost their lives to knife crime in England and Wales, and 31 of those victims were black.

It argued that therefore black males are, therefore, disproportionately more likely to be killed by violence and knife crime.

The government said it ‘recognises’ the disproportionality in stop and search, saying black males are more likely to be targeted, but added “our first priority must be on prevention and public safety. “

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A soldier is fighting for his life

British soldier fighting for life after being 'stabbed in frenzied attack outside barracks' - as man, 24, arrested

The 'crazy' welfare system needs reform, former Labour health secretary warns the Government

‘Crazy’ welfare system needs reform, Labour adviser warns Government, as he says ‘force long-term sick into work’

14 passengers made it onto a life raft

At least six dead and seven missing after fishing boat sinks 200 miles off Falkland Islands

Charlotte Dujardin, Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian, has pulled out of Paris 2024

Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin ‘whipped horse 24 times like an elephant in the circus’, claims lawyer

Roberta Taylor was diagnosed with pneumonia after a fall two months ago

EastEnders and The Bill star Roberta Taylor dies aged 76 from infection caused by fall

Kamala Harris raises her arms against a backdrop of US flags

Kamala Harris kicks off campaign for US president with rally in Wisconsin

A line of traffic against a red background

Wildfires send thousands fleeing from Canadian Rockies’ national park

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly has announced he will stand in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly announces Tory leadership bid

Kamala Harris

‘A fight for the future’: Kamala Harris vows to take on Donald Trump’s ‘extremist’ agenda in first campaign rally speech

Police help a man out of a police vehicle

Man faces murder charges after mass shooting in Croatia nursing home

Labour has seen off a potential rebellion on the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer suspends seven rebel Labour MPs who voted to get rid of two-child benefit cap

Spain and Manchester City star Rodri has been charged by UEFA after he chanted about Gibraltar during a Euro 2024 victory event.

Manchester City star Rodri charged by UEFA over Gibraltar chants during EURO 2024 celebrations

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware

Joe Biden seen for first time since quitting presidential race as Democrats rally behind Kamala Harris

Robert Hammond, 47, faced a "surging mountain of debt and financial pressures"

Mortgage broker who murdered his wife to cash in on her life insurance and pay off £300,000 debt jailed for 24 years

Exclusive
Michael Marmot said the cap was 'almost a form of eugenics'

Two-child benefit cap amounts to eugenics, public health expert claims ahead of MPs' vote

nna Holland and Phoebe Plummer are accused of throwing two cans of soup at the legendary painting

Tomato soup acted 'like paint stripper' in Just Stop Oil Van Gogh protest, court hears