Socialist Worker

As London stabbings highlight knife crime - police stop and search is no answer

Issue No. 2555

Police stop and search doesnt stop knife crime

Police stop and search doesn't stop knife crime (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A series of tragic deaths from stabbings has highlighted the issue of “knife crime” in London.

Thirteen people have died in one three-week spell, including four teenagers.

The police’s only response is more stop and search—which targets the working class and in particular young black people.

Nicky Hill, a youth violence consultant based in Lambeth, said, “Knife crime is the symptom of more deep-rooted societal issues, which we seem to be insisting on ignoring.”

Temi Mwale from 4Front, a social enterprise that works with young people in Tottenham, said, “We can’t just keep rolling out stop and search as the only kind of viable solution, because it’s a suppression tactic.”

She added, “You can take the knives. But if the threat of being violently attacked and the fear it creates remains, young people will still arm themselves.”

AOPM, the professional association of volunteers supporting young offenders, said, “Stop and search as a ‘solution’ cannot be detached from the negative history of policing BME communities.”

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