Skip to main content
Home Office in the media

Home Secretary: To all the police fighting violent crime on Britain's streets - I've got your back

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Uncategorised

Today, Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote in the Sun on Sunday about why she has lifted restrictions on emergency stop and search powers to help police tackle violent crime.

Her words can be found below.

Home Secretary Priti Patel

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Our police officers are the best in the world.

That's why, as Home Secretary, I want each and every one of them to know I have their backs.

Just last week we saw a police officer show incredible bravery when attacked in east London in another example of the senseless violence blighting our streets.

This shocking incident, and the courage shown by the officers involved, is a powerful reminder that the police put their lives on the line to keep us all safe every time they go out on patrol.

It is also the precise reason we've got to be tougher - to protect the police and the public in every way possible.

One of the first decisions of this Government was to bolster the ranks of the police by recruiting 20,000 new officers over the next three years.

Under Boris Johnson, this means more officers out on the beat protecting our communities.

More officers tackling terrorists. More officers catching child abusers. More officers ridding our streets of knife crime.

But we must also ensure the police have the powers they need to protect the public.

Police chiefs are clear - stop and search can be an important power in the fight against crime. I fully agree.

I want police officers to have the confidence to use this power, safe in the knowledge that I am behind them all the way.

It's the criminals who should be running scared, not the innocent, law-abiding public.

Just one knife seized during a stop and search could be one life saved. Last year, there were nearly 7,000 arrests for weapons as a result of stop and search.

That's why, from today, I'm lifting restrictions on the use of emergency stop and search powers for all forces across England and Wales.

These Section 60 powers allow the police to stop and search anyone in a designated area when violence is feared - such as following a fatal stabbing to prevent reprisal attacks.

Under our changes, the police can use these powers more quickly and with more confidence when faced with potentially deadly violence.

I'm also extending the amount of time emergency powers can be put in place.

Of course, stop and search must be used in a way that's fair and reasonable.

Body cameras can provide the public with reassurance, but I trust the police to use these powers responsibly like the highly trained professionals they are.

Criminals are feeling emboldened when it should be the police.

We simply cannot stand by while more young lives are lost knowing there is more we can do to win this bloody battle.

Some have been killed in broad daylight as they made their way to and from school.

Others have been attacked in the park or outside busy train stations.

Every knife death is a tragedy and leaves a trail of grief, anger and despair across entire communities.

As a mum whose son will soon start secondary school, the rise in knife crime worries me deeply.

It also saddens me to hear young people say they carry knives to protect themselves.

It is the police's job to protect them - and this Government, with the full backing of our Prime Minister, will ensure they have the resources and the powers they need to do just that.

Knife crime has shaken this country to its core and stop and search is a vital power for turning this terrible tide.

As Home Secretary, I'll back the police and help bring an end to these shocking acts of violence and senseless loss of life.

An additional £1 billion is going into policing this year.

The Offensive Weapons Act will also help police crack down on knife crime, It includes knife crime prevention orders to stop people carrying weapons and new restrictions on the sae and delivery of acid and knives.

We intend to take these tough new measures forward by shortly publishing new guidance for police, businesses and others.

And we plan to go even further by strengthening every corner of the criminal justice system.

Since becoming Home Secretary, I have been humbled by the dedication of those on the front line of keeping this country safe.

They risk their own lives daily to prevent crime to our people and communities safe.

This week I met with our excellent Border Force officers working to keep criminals and their weapons off our streets.

I also met with families who have lost their children to violent knife crime.

Their stories were truly heart-breaking and, as a parent, I felt their pain.

Preventing more families from experiencing such tragedy is the reason the changes I am announcing today matter.

Last week, a group of brave young people delivered a letter to Downing Street asking us to put an end to knife crime.

I will do everything in my power to give them the peace of mind they deserve and the right to safer streets and communities.


Sharing and comments

Share this page