"Stop the meddling and let us tackle knife crime"

Police in England and Wales are being given greater stop and search powers to tackle rising knife crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is making it easier for officers to search people without reasonable suspicion in places where serious violence may occur.

It comes after fatal stabbings rose last year to the highest point since records began.

But campaigners said the move was "disappointing and regressive" and that stop and search is not effective.

Stop and search powers have been controversial for many years, with evidence that they are frequently misused and that they target black people disproportionately.

But Mr Javid said: "The police are on the front line in the battle against serious violence and it's vital we give them the right tools to do their jobs."

The change is being trialled in seven police force areas where more than 60% of knife crime occurs: London, the West Midlands, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Wales and Greater Manchester.

Chairman Ken Marsh on @talkRADIO said that police officer numbers are vital... but “as I've often said policing is not the only solution to the Knife Crime Epidemic - but we need to stop what is happening out there.”

He added: "We as police know what to do about knife crime - unfortunately we have a huge amount of meddling that takes place.... We have seen our numbers slashed. If you haven't got the police officers you can't keep doing what you were doing."