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MP: Stop and search vital in war on knife crime in Clacton
8:48am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
AN MP has demanded police stop and search powers continue in Clacton to tackle the town’s knife crime problems.
A national review of stop and search powers is under way after a review found that in a quarter of cases police failed to record “reasonable” reasons for searching people.
The Home Office launched the study after concerns were raised about how police used the powers before the 2011 London riots.
But Clacton MP Douglas Carswell believes it a vital tool in the high-profile battle to tackle knife crime – backed by our Gazette campaign.
He said: “Knife crime has been a problem in the town centre.
“The good news is this year the police recognised it has become a problem – and have taken steps to tackle it.”
Earlier this year, Clacton police launched Operation Statesman to tackle knife crime, which led to a number of arrests and a drop in knife-related incidents. Mr Carswell said: “It would be a disaster if at some point in the future Essex police chiefs ruled out more stop and searches in Clacton, citing Home Office guidelines.
“I have written to the Home Secretary previously saying it should be for the directly elected police commissioner to determine policy towards stop and search.
“We need stop and search here in Clacton.”
Latest figures show four people were found in possession of a weapon after being stopped in Clacton’s pier ward in October.
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