Stop And Search Cut Violent Crime In London, Police Say

3 May 2019, 08:45 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 08:56

Figures show number of killings and stabbings of under-25s in London fell last year.
Figures show number of killings and stabbings of under-25s in London fell last year. Picture: PA

Britain's top cop credited the increasing use of controversial stop and search powers with driving down violence in London.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said a 30% increase in the use of stop and search was responsible for driving down violent crime in the capital.

The Commissioner was speaking at Scotland Yard as new figures revealed killings in the capital were down by a quarter and injuries from stabbings among the under 25s was down by 15%.

Ms Dick was speaking just hours after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death and a 16-year-old boy injured in Hackney, east London.

Referring to the most recent death, she said: "The figures, put into the context of what happened overnight, can seem rather bald and cold and unemotional.

"Each death is absolutely ghastly. Each young man stabbed is a horrible thing for them, their family, friends and community and for the person who did the stabbing, often it wrecks their lives as well."

Commissioner Cressida Dick was speaking as new crime figures were released.
Commissioner Cressida Dick was speaking as new crime figures were released. Picture: PA

Ms Dick said there had been 172,000 stop and searches in the last year which had proven "very effective" and resulted in the confiscation of knives and guns every day.

She added:  "I am confident that we will continue to step up our efforts and continue to make real inroads into these pernicious crimes."

Ms Dick said the reasons for the drop in violent crime were complex, but the drugs markets were a "big problem".

She said: "There is a large demand, there is big money to be made and there is a lot of fights going on between drug gangs. Those young people have either been the victim or the offender or both.

"But there is a whole range of other issues that have played into this. I believe we are suppressing the violence. That has absolutely, definitely resulted in the reduction."

Over the past 12 months, there were 122 homicides recorded by the Met, with 32 fewer victims than the period before, excluding the nine killed in terrorist attacks in 2017.

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