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Home Secretary Calls on London Police to Increase Stop and Search to Combat Knife Crime

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Business Secretary Sajid Javid gestures after a photocall with executives from British car manufacturers on September 10, 2015 in London, England. Executives were joined by Business Secretary Sajid Javid as they stood alongside 10 of the most exciting British-built cars before they head off to …
Carl Court/Getty

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has told London police to get knife crime under control after five fatal stabbings in less than a week, instructing the Met to make “full use” of police powers, including increasing stop and search.

The Home Office released details of a phone conversation between the Conservative Home Secretary and Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick Wednesday night, where he told her: “Alongside tough law enforcement we will not let up on our work to prevent young people getting drawn into knife crime in the first place.

“But we must step up the police response to get the situation under control so that these measures have to time to work.”

“We must act together, and I stand with you as we face this challenge,” he added.

Mr Javid interrupted his trip to the United States, where he is to discuss tackling online child abuse with social media and tech giants, to instruct the Commissioner to get knife crime under control after five people, including three teenagers, were stabbed to death in the capital in less than one week.

Another 17-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being stabbed Wednesday night in West Hampstead, north-west London.

The Home Secretary also told Sky News that police need more funding and hinted that Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will be pledging more funds for forces before Christmas.

“I think resources is part of the issue, making sure that police, as they deal with more of these complex situations, that they have the resource they need,” he told Sky News.

“That is why I welcome the commitment by the chancellor just a week ago to sit down with me and discuss what resource is needed for the police and we have the December settlement just a few weeks away so this is something that can be looked at very, very quickly,” he added.

Javid has supported extending the powers since his appointment as Home Secretary, telling the annual Police Superintendents’ Conference in September: “If stop and search means that lives can be saved from the communities most affected, then, of course, it’s a very good thing.”

At October’s Tory Party conference, two-time former London mayor and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson called for an “end [to] the politically correct nonsense” that has cost the lives of young Londoners and to resume “systematic stop and search” to keep them safe.

Powers were curbed in 2014 under then-Home Secretary Theresa May after pressure from leftist activists who claimed that stop and search disproportionately targetted young black men, with Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan vowing to further reduce the powers in his city when he took office in 2016.

Breitbart London reported last month that knife crime in the UK rose in the year that stop and search by police fell to its lowest level.

While the Centre for Social Justice think tank said that the powers act as a deterrent to carrying weapons in a report published in August that revealed a firearm is discharged up to every six hours in ‘gun free’ London.

Overall, there have been 119 homicides in London since January — three more than in the whole of 2017.

London has seen knife crime increase by nearly a third between 2015/16 to 2016/17 under the city’s Labour Mayor, with Khan saying this week that it could take ten years to bring down knife crime.

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