Police stop and search expansion will save lives, says minister


LIFTING restrictions on how the police use powers to stop and search suspects will save lives, a Home Office minister has said.

Rachel Maclean’s comments come amid changes to so-called section 60 orders, which will allow people to be searched without reasonable grounds for suspicion, which includes extending the time powers can be in force.

Speaking to GB News the Minister for Safeguarding said: “What we want to see is increased confidence from the police to bring in these section 60 powers ultimately to save lives and keep our streets safer.

“What we’ve set out in the beating crime plan is that we are determined to crack down on the scourge of knife crime.

“As a Home Office Minister, I often have to speak to bereaved families who’ve lost their child. I can’t imagine how awful that fear can be, that fear that your child may walk out of the door or not come back because they’re a victim of knife crime.

“So this is a really helpful tool. It does allow the police to put section 60 in place where they believe there will be a risk of serious violence, and we believe it will ultimately keep people safer and save lives.”

Speaking during a discussion on Breakfast on GB news, she was unable to say how many stops had resulted in an arrest: “I do know that we have taken 50,000 knives off the streets in that time, and we’ve arrested 150,000 additional suspects.

“And so it is clear that the work that we are carrying out in the Home Office is bearing down on the statistics.

“We have seen a reduction in stabbings as a result of that, however, we clearly need to do more which is why we’ve listened to our policing partners and why we’ve taken these actions.”

Responding to a question about the effectiveness of stop and search when only 4% of stops result in an arrest, Ms McLean said: “Clearly we need to do more.

“Stop and search is one tool but there are a range of other measures that we are introducing are working through as part of the beating crime plan, including bearing down on crime in all its forms.

“We’re putting those long term measures in place to actually divert young people away from a life of crime, so it’s an overall system response, but stop and search to be clear it’s very important.

“It’s what the police have asked for. They’ve asked for these measures. We’ve listened to the police and we’re backing them to continue cracking down on knife crime in our cities and streets.”