Police given new stop & search powers in bid to combat knife crime

Published date17 March 2021
Date17 March 2021
Publication titleBirmingham Mail (England)
It was chosen by Home Secretary Priti Patel as one of four police forces to pilot the new scheme.

Police will be allowed to stop and search someone who has previously been convicted of an offence involving a knife or offensive weapon - even if they do not have a specific reason for carrying out the search.

At the moment, police can only search someone for a knife or another offensive weapon if they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect they are carrying one.

In practice, it makes it much easier for police to carry out searches.

The new rule will only apply when a court imposes what's called a Serious Violence Reduction Order.

Courts can do this when someone aged 18 or over is convicted of an offence involving a knife or offensive weapon.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Sir David Thompson said: "We welcome this Home Office pilot on Serious Violence Reduction Orders as part of a wider public health approach for reducing violence in the West Midlands.

"The orders will enable us to target those already convicted of certain knife offences, giving us the automatic right to search those who pose the greatest risk.

"It is crucial that these orders are policed fairly and effectively and that scrutiny is in Home Secretary place to ensure that happens. We also recognise search should be only one tool in changing the behaviour of those subject to the orders.

"Our work as...

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