Kit Malthouse calls for increase in stop and search

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Kit Malthouse said a rise in knife crime can be combatted with an increase in stop and search in concert with Boris Johnson’s promised police recruiting drive.

The policing minister told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer “these are complex issues that require complex and difficult solutions”.

“One of the areas that we’re looking at is what can we do to increase the amount of stop and search sensitively, proportionately across the country to deal with knife crime in particular,” he said.

“We have had some surge policing operations – Operation Sceptre - across the country over the last few months that took something like 11,000 knives off the streets as part of that week-long programme. We need more of a sustained approach to it than that.”

The Home Affairs Committee has criticised the government for a “completely inadequate” violence reduction strategy.

It found the number of homicides has increased by over a third in the past five years, and knife crime rose by over 70 per cent.

The committee called on Mr Johnson to take “personal responsibility” for stopping knife and gun crime among young people.

Mr Malthouse said the government plans to take “frontline assertive action” in the short term.

“The pattern of fighting crime is difficult, it moves, it’s a hydra with many heads that needs to be addressed in a complex way and very often the pattern of fighting crime is two steps forward one step back,” he said.

“In the end the solution to this problem will be a massive national collaboration between the police, local authorities, other services that look after young people and frankly society in general to make sure that we can get on top of this problem.”

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