Suella Braverman gives ‘full support’ to police in stepping up use of stop and searches | Political news

Suella Braverman encouraged police chiefs to use stop and search powers more often to “seize dangerous weapons and prevent more criminal knife attacks”.

The Home Secretary’s letter to the 43 police chiefs has no direct impact on how officers operate, as the police are operationally independent of the government.

But the latest intervention shows the Home Office wants to see an increase in the number of officers using the controversial powers.

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There have been criticisms of the practice of stop and frisk, particularly the proportion of black men and boys – with a research paper describing it as a “rite of passage” for black boys.

Government statistics suggest black people are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

And campaign groups have previously warned that easing restrictions on the use of power by the police could worsen discrimination.

“The first priority must be prevention and public safety”

But Ms Braverman ‘gives full support’ to the method of policing – with the Home Office pointing out that in the 12-month period to March 2022, 99 young people died as a result of crime with a knife, and 31 of those victims were black.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said it shows that “black males are therefore disproportionately more likely to be killed by violence and knife crime”.

“While the government recognizes that black men are more likely to be stopped and searched, our first priority must be prevention and public safety.”

Nearly 50,000 weapons have been seized during arrests and searches since 2019 according to the Ministry of the Interior, resulting in more than 220,000 arrests.

Ms Braverman also wants officers to ‘stop and investigate’ cases where someone ‘unlawfully’ prevents officers from stopping and searching a person.

Home Secretary also calls for body-worn camera footage recorded by gendarmes to be released more quickly as she hopes “by telling the whole story quickly, innocent police officers will not be judged by the media social for their actions”.

Ms Braverman said: “Carrying guns is a scourge on our society. And anyone who does it risks their own life and the lives of those around them. This dangerous culture must be stopped.

“My first priority is to keep the public safe and people who insist on carrying a gun need to know there will be consequences.”

stop and search
There have been concerns about the proportion of black men and boys who have been stopped and searched

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She added: “Police have my full support to step 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 support the police in the fight against this scourge in communities that are disproportionately affected, such as among young black men. We must do everything possible who is in our power to quell this violence.”

The Home Secretary also updated the stop and search safeguards in place to “build trust between the police and local communities”.

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The government therefore says it intends to require police to “communicate” when putting in place Section 60 orders, which make it easier to stop and search in specific areas, with exceptions if it “hinders a sensitive situation”. do this”.

And data on every interaction must be collected, passed on to the Home Office and published.

Braverman ‘chases headlines’, says Labor Party

Labor Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has accused the Home Secretary of ‘grabbing the headlines’ instead of tackling knife crime.

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“Knife crime has increased after 13 years of conservatives, with the biggest increases in suburbs and counties, destroying lives and devastating families,” she said.

“Yet instead of a serious government plan to curb knife crime, the Home Secretary is content to write more letters to the police and grab the headlines.

“The decimation of neighborhood policing, cuts to youth prevention work, the lack of an appropriate strategy on serious violence and the lack of action on organized crime under the Tories have allowed the knife crime to increase in all communities.”

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