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Suella Braverman demands police increase use of controversial Stop and Search

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Suella Braverman has asked stop and search to be ramped up

Despite ongoing concerns that stop and search powers disproportionately target black and ethnic minority communities, the Home Secretary has directed police forces in England and Wales to “ramp” their usage.

Suella Braverman, in a letter to chief constables, stated that officers had her “complete support” to use the methods “wherever necessary to prevent violence and save more lives.”

What are police’s Stop and Search powers?

Police have the authority to stop and search anyone if they have’reasonable grounds’ to believe they are in possession of a firearm, illicit substances, or stolen items.

People can be stopped and searched without reasonable grounds in specific instances (for example, when there is a risk of serious violence) if a senior officer approves it.

Critics of the approach, however, point out that members of the black and ethnic minority populations are stopped more frequently. Freedom of Information requests found that black people were 13 times more likely than white people to be subject to these powers by police.

What did Suella Braverman say about Stop and Search?

Braverman urged in her letter that stop and search be implemented to protect young black men from knife violence. 31 of the 99 young persons killed in knife crimes between March 2022 and March 2023 were black.

Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, has said families will be evicted if they have information about knife crime and refuse to co-operate with the Metropolitan Police. After talking to local residents, we’ve discussed how polarising Darren Rodwell’s plans are.

The Home Secretary told police chiefs: “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”.

Speaking, Braverman said police has her full support to ramp up stop and search
Braverman said Police has her full support (Image: Getty)

“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”.

What’s the reaction to Suella Braverman’s comments about ‘ramping’ up Stop and Search?

In response, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said “Knife crime has shot up after 13 years of the Tories, with the biggest increases in the suburbs and counties, destroying lives and devastating families”.

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“The decimation of neighbourhood policing, cuts to youth prevention work, lack of a proper serious violence strategy and lack of action on organised crime under the Tories has allowed knife crime to go up across all communities”.

The Network for Police Monitoring expressed disappointment that the government sought to increase use of “one of the most systematically racist police powers” just months after the Metropolitan Police was determined to be institutionally racist.

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