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Stop and search surges in the UK

INCREASE: Stop and search

IN A bid to tackle violent crime which has swept the nation, the police have increased their use of stop and search in some of England’s major forces, The Guardian has revealed.

The publication found that eight of the UK;s biggest forces scaled up their use of stop and search, with it doubling from 15,557 instances in March 2017 to 33,022 in March 2019.

In 2018, the eight major forces recorded 214,240 stop and searches, a rise from 178,318. The Guardian analysis found that The Metropolitan police, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands police were behind the surge.

David Lammy told the publication: “The deeply worrying rise in stop and search, resulting from deliberate strategic choice by the home secretary, shows a police force on the back foot as a result of vast funding shortfalls resulting from austerity. As Sajid Javid has tacitly admitted during the Tory leadership campaign, the police have been starved of resources since 2010.”

In March, home secretary Sajiod Javid enhanced section 60 powers which gave police officers more scope to stop and search people without reasonable grounds - a method which has been widely criticised by MPs including Lammy and Diane Abbott.

The lans were confirmed by Adrian Hanstock, the deputy chief constable of the British Transport Police and national lead on stop and search for the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

WORRYING

Omar Khan, the director of the Runnymede Trust, said the re-emergence of these powers was worrying. “We are in a world where most black men will have a family member who has been stopped and searched. I think it will create more tensions in communities – that has always been the case.”

Last week, Boris Johnson pledged to increase stop and search powers as he continues his Tory leadership bid.

Answering questions from Tory members over the phone, Johnson said extra funding was needed to support police in order to beat the issue.

“But it’s also about giving police the political cover and support they need to do stop and search and to come down hard on those carrying knives.”

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