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UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman ramps up stop & search powers to fight knife crime

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman ramps up stop & search powers to fight knife crime
Courtesy: Leon Neal / Staff | Getty Images News Via Getty Images

Just in the past week there have been multiple horrific instances of knife crime, with two Indian students among those stabbed to death on the streets of London – Tejaswini Kontham, 27, and Aravind Sasikumar, 38. Some miles north in Nottingham, British Indian teenage hockey star Grace O’Malley Kumar, 19, lost her life to another knife crime.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman took to the Despatch Box in the House of Commons this week to announce her plans to ramp up stop and search powers available to police forces up and down the country to crack down on such crimes.

Braverman said: "Carrying weapons is a scourge on our society. And anyone doing so is risking their own lives as well as the lives of those around them. This dangerous culture must be brought to a stop.

“My first priority is to keep the public safe and people who insist on carrying a weapon must know that there will be consequences. The police have my full support to ramp 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 back the police in tackling this blight in communities which are disproportionately affected, such as among young black males. We need to do everything in our power to crack down on this violence.”

The British Indian Home Secretary has written to Chief Constables of all 43 police forces in England and Wales to give her full backing to the common sense policing tactic of stop and search and to urge them to ensure their officers are prepared to use the full powers at their disposal so they can be more proactive in preventing violence before it occurs. The letter also calls on the police chiefs to use powers at their disposal to arrest and investigate instances where someone is unlawfully obstructing a stop and search and for police to publish more body-worn footage quickly.

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The Home Office said this would prevent innocent police officers being subject to trial by social media over their actions. The ministry also released data to say that more than 100,000 weapons have been removed from Britain’s streets since 2019 through a range of tactics – almost half of which were seized in stop and searches, which have also led to more than 220,000 arrests. The latest data, the Home Office said, also shows that serious violence has been driven down by 25 per cent since 2019.

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