A video shared on social media of the moment when Territorial Support Group (3 area TSG) officers in Walthamstow, east London, find a large knife on a male who was being searched. The incident happened in June 2020.
Before officers found the large knife, members of the public can be heard shouting ‘why are you searching him’ – seeming to object to the male being searched without knowing why officers had stopped him.
Two officers can be seen searching the male as another officer makes sure that, for their own safety, the bystanders do not get too close.
The male being searched is calm and compliant as the officers search through his pockets. To ensure the safety of the officers and members of the public, the male had been placed in handcuffs.
As one of the officers searches the male’s pockets, a woman, believed to have no links to the male being searched, asks: “Why are you searching him – that’s what I’m asking”.
Just as she finishes asking the question, one of the officers finds a large knife on the male.
The officer then turns to address the bystander and says: “Well, thank you for asking and for your concern” as he shows them the large blade that the male had concealed in his pocket.
Another officer can be heard to say: “That is why he does not want to be searched” (referring to the fact that he had a large knife concealed on him).
The male who had the knife is then placed under arrest.
But instead of thanking the officers for putting their own safety at risk to help protect the public, the female who had objected to the search shouted: “I am just asking”.
According to the Office for National Statistics, knife crime in England & Wales has risen to a record high.
The ONS said that police recorded 45,627 offences in the year to December 2019.
Last year over 100 people were killed in London alone with 2019 said to be ‘London’s bloodiest year in a decade’.
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