By Natasha Dhumma
The wave of reported knife crime that has dominated London newspapers this summer has now got Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith behind calls to increase the use of stop and search. The Metropolitan Police have also indicated they plan toincrease their use of the tactic.
According to these voices, the decline in stop and search over the past three years has led to young people feeling invincible and without fear of being caught possessing knives. Not only is this completely unsupported by the evidence, it echoes a policing blunder from our recent history from which, it appears, lessons have not been sufficiently learnt.
In 2008, Operation Blunt 2, an anti-knife crime initiative was launched in London with the backing of London Mayor Boris Johnson. Under Blunt, the rate of Section 60 searches, which do not require an officer to have reasonable suspicion that an individual has done anything wrong, skyrocketed, and tougher sentences were introduced.Read More »from Police must reject reactionary calls to increase stop and search