LONDON, May 16 (Xinhua) — Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel announced new measures on Monday that will increase police powers to stop and search individuals to help fight knife crime and serious violence across the country.
In a letter to police forces across Britain, Patel has permanently lifted restrictions on police stop-and-search powers in areas where serious violence is anticipated.
The British police recorded 6 million crimes in England and Wales in the year ending December 2021, according to a report published in April by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figure represented an 8 percent increase compared with the year ending December 2020.
Meanwhile, the number of homicides increased by 14 percent to 691 offenses. London, the capital, recorded its worst ever annual teenage homicide death toll — 30 — from stabbing incidents.
In the two years to March 2021, over 150,000 arrests were made following stop and searches, preventing thousands of possible fatal injuries, Patel said.
“This will give officers full operational flexibility and the confidence they need to use the tool, helping rid the streets of dangerous weapons and save lives,” said the Home Office, the department responsible for interior matters.
Restrictions on when stop-and-search powers can be used by police officers have been in place since 2014.
Those restrictions “limited when officers could use the vital power and decreased their confidence in deploying it,” said the Home Office.
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