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Boris Johnson calls for more stop and search

STOP AND SEARCH: Boris Johnson has urged for the use of stop and search to be increased

FOREIGN SECRETARY Boris Johnson has called for the police to increase their use of stop and search to combat knife crime.

The former mayor of London told the Daily Telegraph that more use of stop and search powers are needed to end what he referred to as an “absolute misery”.

Johnson, who advocated the use of stop and search as a tool to tackle knife crime in London during his tenure as mayor, recognised that the policing method had been controversial.

“It was controversial, people said it was unfair, but by God it worked,” he said.

He added that the police needed to “take knives off the streets” and “come down like a ton of bricks” on gang leaders.

Johnson critiqued current mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s response to the issue of violent crime.

He said: “We did two things simultaneously, and this is what Sadiq Khan needs to do. You cannot be soft on this.

“If people are going to go equipped with a knife, they are putting other people at risk and they are putting themselves at risk. You have got to stop them, you have got to search them and you have got to take the knives out of their possession. And we did that with Operation Blunt II. We took tens of thousands of knives off the streets.”

Johnson increased the use of stop and search powers after he took up the position of mayor in 2008.

“I remember vividly what was going on. It was an absolute nightmare. We were having about 28 or 30 kids killed every year, most of them in knife attacks,” he said.

Before being elected as mayor, Khan said that the overuse of stop and search can have a dramatic effect on communities, and that he would “do all in my power to further cut its use”.

Speaking last month, Khan outlined his plans to deal with the rise in violent crime in the capital and said they include “a significant increase in the use of targeted stop and search by the police across our city”.

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