The government has announced more powers for police to authorise enhanced stop and search as part of continued action to tackle knife crime.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is also making it simpler for police to use section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. This empowers officers to stop and search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds for suspicion if serious violence is anticipated.
At least 3,000 more officers will be able to use “enhanced stop and search powers” under the latest overhaul.
The changes will run for up to a year, including a review after 6 months.
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.
The change follows a Home Secretary roundtable with police leaders on knife crime earlier this month, where the need for this power was discussed.
It also comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s summit on serious youth violence in Downing Street tomorrow. This will bring together Ministers, community leaders, agencies and other experts to explore what more we can do as a whole society to tackle the root causes of serious violence and intervene earlier, alongside tough law enforcement.
Earlier this month, the government announced £100 million additional funding to support areas most affected by serious violence, boosting policing capacity and enabling the creation of multi-agency violence reduction units.
The changes to section 60 will initially apply in areas particularly affected by violent crime – London, West Midlands, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Wales and Greater Manchester – for up to a year. Forces are also expected to engage with communities on its use, and nobody should be stopped on the basis of their race or ethnicity.