PRITI Patel beefed up stop-and-search laws yesterday to give cops more power to tackle knife crime.
The Home Secretary lifted restrictions on all 43 forces and gave an extra 8,000 officers authority to order on-the-spot frisking.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have vowed to end the knife crime epidemic by lifting restrictions on stop and search[/caption]
She said her action, just a fortnight into the job, shows her determination to halt street violence “in its tracks”.
It is the first measure in a wave to be unveiled this week by Boris Johnson.
The PM, who has promised 20,000 more cops, will announce a prison-building programme with 10,000 new cells.
He will meet police chiefs, judges and prison bosses tomorrow to discuss strengthening the criminal justice system so punishment fits the crime, and lags learn job skills so they do not return to crime on release.
Ms Patel made the start last night by binning stop-and-search restrictions imposed in 2014 in a victory for our Beat the Blades campaign.
‘KNIFE CRIME EPIDEMIC’
In addition to the most senior officers, she said, inspectors and superintendents will get authority to authorise stop-and-searches.
Once an area is designated, the powers will be in force for 24 hours and can be extended to 48. The degree of certainty required will be lowered to a reasonable belief that an incident “may” occur, rather than “will” occur.
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She said: “We are experiencing a knife crime epidemic. I’m determined to put a stop to it. Police chiefs are clear — stop-and-search is a vital tool in combating the scourge of serious violence.”
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “The authority to stop and search is a necessary power that allows police to tackle violence and prevent people from becoming victims of crime.”
Ms Patel will soon publish guidance on measures to curb the sale and delivery of blades. Courts will get powers to impose Knife Crime Prevention Orders on anyone aged 12 and over.
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock described stop and search as a necessary power at this time[/caption]
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