Knife crime in east London: Government gives police greater stop and search powers
PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 02 April 2019
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Police have been given greater stop and search powers to tackle knife crime following a number of stabbings in Havering and Redbridge.
The Home Secretary Sajid Javid, announced that he would be making it easier for officers to stop and search people in Sunday, March 31.
He said: “The police are on the front line in the battle against serious violence and it’s vital we give them the right tools to do their jobs.
“Stop and search is a hugely effective power when it comes to disrupting crime, taking weapons off our streets and keeping us safe.
“That’s why we are making it simpler for police in areas particularly affected by serious violence to use Section 60 and increasing the number of officers who can authorise the power.”
Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act empowers officers to stop and search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds for suspicions if serious violence is involved.
The news comes after the fatal stabbing of Jodie Chesney, 17, in a Harold Hill park on Friday, March 1.
Two weeks later, a teenager was stabbed outside the Havering College of Further and Higher Education campus in Harold Hill on March 19.
A man in his 20s was stabbed in Barkingside High Street on Saturday, March 23 and another 20-year-old man, Ché Morrison, was stabbed to death near Ilford Station on Tuesday, February 26.
Of the 227 people who took part in the Recorder’s poll, just eight voters - 3pc - said they disagreed with the government’s decision, while a clear majority of 219 voters - 97pc - said they agreed that police should have more stop and search powers.
Most people, like Jim Glover, said the only people who would complain are those who have something to hide.
He said: “Without any doubt, if you’ve done nothing wrong, there’s no problem.”
Lily Crosby said: “Some do gooders will object, shouting about human rights, but we definitely need to have a very strong policy against knife crime.
“Immediately impound the guilty person and impose a stiff sentence on them. Maybe they will think twice about carrying a knife.”
Chris Wright added: “But they need to ensure they are not singling out certain ethnic groups out over others. “This means we need more bodies on the ground to ensure it has the desired effect and it becomes a deterrent again.”