A Police & Crime Commissioner has spoken about stop and search and its vital role in helping to reduce violent crime.
Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner, shared his thoughts in a series of tweets ahead of his appearance in tonight’s ‘Stop And Search: Policing The Streets?’ (tonight, ITV, 20:30 hours).
Against the backdrop of what many people in law enforcement feel is an out-of-control explosion of knife crime, stop and search still plays a vital role in preventing and detecting knife-enabled crime.
Speaking in tonight’s documentary, Mr Akinbusoye said:
“Unfortunately, young people have been involved in serious violent crimes. I believe the police need to just do their job, irrespective of the age, gender, race, religion, or ethnicity of that person.
“So long as there’s scrutiny, there’s openess and there’s transparency, we need that”.
In a series of tweets (@Fest4BedsPCC), Mr Akinbusoye explained:
‘I have never met the family of any victim of a fatal or non-fatal stabbing who wants to see the police do less Stop and Search.
‘They want to see more being done as well as other things like early intervention work, diversionary activities, support for parents and families etc.
‘I am funding and supporting these in Bedfordshire, working with partner agencies to plug gaps through which some of our most at-risk children could fall. Stop and Search is just one of a series of things we need in place to keep our communities safer.
‘I understand the concerns of black people like myself who disproportionately are stopped and search more than any other group generally. The solution to this is to continue improving how the powers are used, effective scrutiny and genuine dialogue.
‘There is no getting away from the fact that there are some very dangerous people in our society with extremely dangerous motives which they will act on. We want cops to stop them before they can cause harm in our communities. This is what everyone wants and expects.’
In the 12 months to March 2021, there were 235 murders involving a knife or sharp instrument in England & Wales.
Twenty-seven teenagers were murdered in London with a knife or sharp object in 2021.
You can watch ‘Stop And Search: Policing The Street?’ tonight on ITV at 20:30 hours.