Stop and search could increase knife crime College of Police warns police

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Cooke said officers should only be concerned about preventing the kind of harrowing murders seen in cities such as Birmingham when they carry out a stop and search.He told The Daily Telegraph: “The thing with the College of Policing, for me and the rank and file, they seem to be detached from reality.“Unfortunately, when we challenge people’s bad behaviour, they don’t like it and they tend to complain – there is a mentality among some young people they can do what they want.“My plea is: let’s deal in facts and not people’s feelings. We deal with crime here – last year we had horrific murders of kids in the street in broad daylight.“I’m far more concerned about those deaths than the feelings of those who are stopped. At the end of the day if we have got legal grounds, we will search people who are perfectly innocent.”Mr Javid last month overhauled restrictions on the tactic made by Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary, which followed concern that people from black or minority ethnic groups were being unfairly targeted.He said the move – which allows inspectors, rather than senior officers, to approve stop and search – gave police “the right tools to do their jobs”.And the scale of the task currently facing officers was further underscored when it emerged knife crime had risen 6 per cent last year to 40,829 offences – the highest level since records began in 2008-09.The College of Policing said “public health approaches” to violence which bring together agencies such as police, social services and youth services were proving effective in places such as Scotland.Bernie O’Reilly, director at the College of Policing, said: “An increased use of stop search by police in a targeted way can have a short term impact to reduce crime but this must be balanced with maintaining public trust and confidence to ensure we do not undermine the strength in the service to build community relations.“The long-term solution is much more complex and broader than the police service. It requires committed leadership from multiple agencies who all have a responsibility to address this issue.” Stop and search may increase knife crime, the College of Policing has told forces as it warned the controversial tactic could push young people towards violence.A research briefing on the causes of street violence has been given to police in England and Wales at a time when knife attacks have reached epidemic levels.The police standards body acknowledged there was “consistent evidence” that stop and search helped reduce crime, but suggested the benefit may only be short term.If an individual felt they had been unfairly stopped by officers, it could increase the risk they later consider violence, the report said.The intervention comes only weeks after Home Secretary Sajid Javid bolstered police stop and search powers to help prevent stabbings. Richard Cooke, the chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, dismissed the College of Police’s suggestion as “detached from reality”, adding: “Let’s deal in facts and not people’s feelings.”In its official briefing, which brings together a host of academic research, the College of Policing said: “While intelligence helps the targeting of stop and search, people’s willingness to provide information is likely to be affected by how fair they perceive the police to be in their use of this power.“Young people, the economically disadvantaged, and people from some minority ethnic groups are significantly more likely to be stopped, and to be dissatisfied with police treatment during a stop.“If contact with officers is felt to be unfair, analysis also suggests it can undermine young people’s perception that the police are ‘on their side’, reducing their willingness to comply with the law, and is associated with increased risk that they consider violence to be an option in achieving certain goals.”Stop and search powers allow police to pull aside individuals and vehicles if an officer reasonably believes serious violence may occur.As many as 80% of all arrests by the Metropolitan Police for possessing an offensive weapon have stemmed from a stop and search, previous research has suggested. read more

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