We need bobbies on the beat to tackle knife crime says Met Police Federation
Getting bobbies on the beat is the best way to tackle knife crime says the Metropolitan Police Federation after the Government urged the force to ‘step up’ its response to the issue.
Five stabbings have taken place in the capital in the last six days bringing the number of knife related deaths in the city so far this year to 119.
Speaking during an official trip to the USA, Home Secretary Sajid Javid urged Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to step up the force’s efforts to wrestle back control of the crisis.
He wants officers to use more stop and search on the streets.
However, Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said getting officers onto the frontline in the first place needs to happen.
“We are using stop and search and it is our power, it’s not for Sajid Javid or anyone outside of policing it’s for Cressida Dick and everyone below her to tell us how to use it,” he said on ITV's Good Morning Britain.
Figures have shown that the numbers of stop and searches being carried out are at their lowest level for 17 years.
“You have to understand my colleagues have to justify everything they do – I am all for the use of it, I have no problem with it whatsoever, but it has to be used appropriately and proportionally and we are doing that,” Ken said.
“The thing about the numbers (of searches) is that not only are we under budgetary control in terms of a reduction, but we’ve also had a huge amount of colleagues diverted into protection against terrorism into firearms, into all sorts of different areas which reduce the number of frontline officers.
“You need bobbies on the beat, you need them out there and being involved,” he said.
The Home Secretary rang Cressida Dick this week to discuss the issue saying he was ‘deeply worried’ by the fresh wave of violent crime.
"We must act together, and I stand with you as we face this challenge,” he said.
"Alongside tough law enforcement we will not let up on our work to prevent young people getting drawn into knife crime in the first place.
"But we must step up the police response to get the situation under control so that these measures have time to work."