A prominent former Metropolitan police officer has said that stop and search saves black lives, by “stopping black youths killing other black youths”. This comes after a member of the Riots Victim and Communities Panel has said that it is “highly likely” that a drop in stop and search has contributed to a rise in knife crime in London.
Both comments were made in the week that Black Lives Matter UK protested to mark the anniversary of the death of black youth Mark Duggan who was shot by police following a stop and search, and the ensuing riots in 2011.
Former Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley stated on Sky News:
“Stop and search works if we want to stop, frankly, black youths killing other black youths.”
He remarked that in 2008, of the 29 teenagers who had been stabbed to death in London in that year alone, 28 had been black, and “virtually all of the assailants were black”.
“[The then Mayor of London] Boris [Johnson] wanted something done. The police wanted something done, and we started to step stop and search up. As a result of that, seven years later, only seven youths were stabbed to death in London.
“[Stop and search] absolutely works because as a result of that probably in the order of 100 to 150-plus black mothers didn’t lose their sons through stabbing.”
In the last two years knife crime in the capital rose by 16% while stop and search decreased by 41% in a year. This is roughly in line with an increase in urban gun crime following the capitulation of stop and search, as reported last year by Breitbart London.
Though a Met spokesman said the rise could not be “connected to a single reason”, Simon Marcus, of the Riots Victim and Communities Panel, has said that it is “highly likely” a drop in police stop and search usage has led to a rise in knife crime in London, the BBC reported.
Mr. Marcus remarked: “Hardened repeat offenders often don’t spend long in prison and with reduced stop and search the chances of getting caught with a gun or a knife are low.
“We all know there are problems and the fight against racism must never stop but in any community you need a deterrent and stop and search is a deterrent.”
However, Mr. Marcus added that “there is also a fear among the police of being branded racist which hasn’t helped cut crime, but has lowered morale”.
His words were echoed by Ken Marsh, vice-chairman of the Met Police Federation, who said that “there are concerns that [the police] are being constantly branded with a racism ticket.”
The riots in 2011 were sparked after the death black youth Mark Duggan, who was shot by police in Tottenham five years ago after being stopped by officers under stop and search powers on suspicion that his car’s occupants were on the way to commit a crime.
A police officer has powers to stop and search someone if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that they are carrying illegal drugs, weapons, or stolen property.
Last week the UK branch of Black Lives Matter, who focus on the alleged disproportionate shootings of black people by police and are against the “alleged disproportionate police use of stop-and-search” in the black community, held protests at Heathrow and London airports and Nottingham city centre to mark the fifth anniversary of Duggan’s death.
The Black Lives Matter protests came in the same week that two black teenagers were killed in separate knife attacks. Ten youths have been killed by stabbing in the capital since January.