Police given more stop and search powers in bid to tackle knife crime

Police in South Yorkshire have been given more stop and search powers in an attempt to reduce knife crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has made it easier for police to stop people they believe to be carrying a weapon.

The change comes after a surge in knife crime in Sheffield.

Stop and search is often viewed as a controversial tactic due to there being no evidence to suggest it is an effective method to reduce knife crime.

Kelly Smith, 52, from Netherthorpe Street, said: “Knife crime seems to have spiralled out of control and if these new powers help put a stop to it then I don’t see how it can be a bad thing.”

James Brown, 25, from Crookesmoor Drive, said: “If the changes work and it deters people from carrying a knife then I think that’s brilliant because I think something has to be done to stop knife crime because it seems like it’s always on the news and it’s getting worse.”

But some Sheffield residents believed stop and search methods have little benefit.

Ben Dawson, 32, from Springvale Road, said: “I don’t know if it actually works, I think more should be done to education people rather than stopping random people on the street.”

Other residents agreed, Zak Gordon, 26, from Pearl Street, said: “When police do this they target ethnic minorities so I don’t think it’s fair and I doubt it will reduce knife crime that much really.”

Under new rules, inspectors can now authorise the use of stop and search if they believe serious violence may occur.

Previously more senior officers had to give approval and they had to believe that serious violence ‘would’ take place.

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