Resources and politics impacting stop and search

03 January 2017

A reduction in proactive patrols, due to reducing officer numbers and tightening budgets, as well as “political pressure” is resulting in a reduction in the use of stop and search.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Steve White, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: “Knife crime has been going up for the last two years. Officers no longer have the ability to do proactive patrolling, and that is what stop and search is all about. It’s political pressure that is causing officers to think twice. Are they going to be criticised for exercising a power? As a consequence, you have more people carrying and using knives and not being discovered . . . and prevented.”

The article in this weekend’s Sunday Times outlined official figures that showed knife crime rose across England & Wales by 9% in the 12 months to last June and in London by 16% in the past two years.

Steve White added: “Comments Theresa May made in relation to stop and search were around disproportionate use against black youths at a time when she was courting the black communities . . . To look at the statistics that she was quoting . . . in isolation paints potentially an incorrect picture.”

Read the full article on the Sunday Times website.