Police have ramped up stop and searches across the country after Britain’s most senior officer clashed with Theresa May over whether there is a link between police cuts and increased knife crime.
This evening, the Metropolitan Police set up a metal detector between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street Tube stations tonight.
Police were pictured searching a man who allegedly refused to go through the metal detector as they try to ramp up their fight against knife crime in the capital. It remains unclear whether he was arrested.
The Metropolitan Police set up a metal detector between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street Tube stations tonight
Numerous officers were seen near the arch on Walker’s Court, between Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus
Earlier today, officers wearing stab vests carried out a search on a man in Piccadilly Gardens.
The unnamed man, dressed in a blue gilet and a checked cap covering his blond hair, was grabbed by a Greater Manchester Police officer and searched near a statue.
Another man, wearing a blue anorak and with brown hair, was checked by police as he handed a woman his hat.
A different picture shows the officers talking to the man, who had put his hat on and pulled his hood over his head.
It came as Greater Manchester Police scaled up their battle against knife crime – using stop and search methods and targeting ‘hotspots’ in the city.
Police were pictured searching a man who allegedly refused to go through the metal detector as they try to ramp up their fight against knife crime in the capital
It comes after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told LBC there is ‘obviously’ some link between officer numbers and street violence.
She accused middle-class cocaine users of having blood on their hands as the capital’s knife crime epidemic continues and said she did not rule out using the Army to help quell the violence.
After teenage girl scout Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed on Friday in Romford and Yousef Makki, 17, was also killed the following evening, presenter Nick Ferrari this morning quizzed the commissioner on the root causes of knife crime.
An unnamed man, dressed in a blue gilet and a checked cap covering his blond hair, was grabbed by a Greater Manchester Police officer and searched near a statue in Piccadilly Gardens
He hands his hat to a woman with him as a police officer checks his ankles for weapons
Another man, wearing a blue anorak, wooly hat and with brown hair, was checked by the officers
He added that Greater Manchester Police will be using hotspot targeting and stop and search methods in the coming weeks
The man pulls his hood up and hides his face as he continues to talk to the officers. It is unclear whether police found anything or any arrests were made
He asked her if ‘middle-class dinner parties’ who ‘order in’ cocaine but do not have to deal with the threat of knife crime have ‘blood on their hands’.
Ms Dick said: ‘I think anybody who is not seriously mentally ill, seriously addicted, who is seeking ‘recreational’ drugs, particularly class A drugs, yes, I think that is a good way to put it, I do.’
Prime Minister Theresa May today told Cabinet the murders of Jodie and Yousef were ‘absolutely appalling crimes’, adding that her ‘thoughts and sympathies’ were with the teenagers’ families and friends. She ordered the Home Office to urgently to coordinate a series of ministerial meetings and engagements on knife crime.
Over the past 12 months, 27 under-19s have been stabbed to death. There were 285 knife killings in all – the highest toll since the Second World War.
And in the year to September, the UK suffered 110 knife crimes a day – including attacks with serrated blades.
Another stabbing in London: 20-year-old rushed to hospital
A 20-year-old man was stabbed this evening in north west London tonight.
The victim has been taken to hospital after police were called to the scene at 5.26pm.
His injuries were described as non-life threatening and a crime scene remains in place.
No arrests have been made.
In the capital alone there have been 20 fatal stabbings since the start of 2019, with the map pictured below showing the location and names of the victims.
Mr Ferrari also asked the commissioner whether she would consider bringing the Army in to assist in the fight against knife crime, given their apparent availability to assist in searches and other operations.
Ms Dick said that she does not rule out the possibility but that she would find it hard to see how she could ‘usefully call on’ the military to help on London’s streets.
The police chief said a message needs to be sent to people of ‘all backgrounds’ as imports of the Class A drug have increased and more are using it.
She also discussed policing cuts in recent years and said the number of officers on the street has an impact on the amount of knife crime.
‘I agree that there is some link between violent crime on the streets obviously and police numbers, of course there is and everybody would see that,’ she said.
The Met is trying to recruit 3,000 officers, 1,500 of which are new posts. This will still leave the force below the numbers it had in 2013/14.
Theresa May has ordered an urgent set of ministerial meetings to address action against knife crime, amid controversy over her claim that there was no direct link with cuts in police numbers.
He was led away from the grass in the centre of the square and towards the iconic statues in the gardens. It is unclear whether police found anything or any arrests were made
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