The Government have announced that they are empowering more officers in South Yorkshire to authorise enhanced stop and search powers to help tackle the rise in knife crime.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is also making it simpler for police to use Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. This empowers officers to stop and search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds for suspicion if serious violence is anticipated.
Dr Alan Billings South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I give this a cautious welcome. Stop and Search only works if the community supports it and it brings results.
“At the moment communities do support police action because it is seen as proportionate and fair and is resulting in convictions for carrying drugs or weapons.
“I have met a number of women in particular who have lost children or family members to knife crime and who want Stop and Search as a deterrent.
“I will ask my Ethics Panel to continue to monitor the use of Stop and Search to ensure that community support is maintained.
“But enforcement is only one aspect of South Yorkshire’s strategy to defeat violent crime.
“Equally important is getting upstream of crime and preventing young people being drawn into gangs and cultures of violence in the first place. This is longer term work with partners and something South Yorkshire is doing very successfully.
“Above all we need consistency in policy. It is only a few years since the Home Office was requiring police forces to drastically reduce Stop and Search; which might now be seen as a mistake.”