UK's Suella Braverman tells police to 'ramp up' stop and search

Critics say powers disproportionately target black and ethnic minority communities

UK police officers who use 'stop and search' powers have the full support of Home Secretary Suella Braverman. PA
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The Home Secretary is writing to police chiefs across England and Wales calling on them to “ramp up” the use of controversial stop and search powers “to prevent violence and save more lives”.

Officers who use the powers have Suella Braverman's “full support”, she said in a press release.

The Home Office said Ms Braverman has given her full backing to the tactic.

However, the contents of the letter to police chiefs across the country have not been made public.

The Home Secretary also singled out “young black males” who she said are “disproportionately affected” by knife crime.

In the year ending March 2022, ONS statistics showed that 31 out of the 99 young people who died due to knife crime were black.

However, critics of stop and search say it disproportionately targets black and ethnic minority communities.

Government statistics suggest black people are seven times more like to be stopped and searched compared to white people.

Campaign groups have previously warned that relaxing restrictions on police use of the power could compound discrimination.

Suella Braverman – in pictures

“Carrying weapons is a scourge on our society, and anyone doing so is risking their own lives as well as the lives of those around them,” Ms Braverman said.

“This dangerous culture must be brought to a stop.

“My first priority is to keep the public safe, and people who insist on carrying a weapon must know that there will be consequences.

“The police have my full support to ramp up the use of stop and search, wherever necessary, to prevent violence and save more lives.”

She added that she backs the police in tackling knife crime among young black males.

“Every death from knife crime is a tragedy,” she said.

“That’s why I also back the police in tackling this blight in communities which are disproportionately affected, such as among young black males.

“We need to do everything in our power to crack down on this violence.”

Updated: June 19, 2023, 4:16 AM