Response officers to be equipped with metal detectors in the latest move to tackle knife crime

Frontline police officers are to be equipped with metal detectors in the latest move by the force to tackle knife crime in the West Midlands.

Eighty knife wands will be distributed to emergency response vehicles having been purchased through the Asset Recovery Fund using money that’s been seized from criminals.

It’s the first time response cops have been equipped with the metal detecting devices which will be used to support their stop and search powers and to take weapons off the streets.

A batch of metal detecting wands have been awarded to response officers in Birmingham paid for by criminals

Chief Superintendent Chris Todd who is West Midlands Police’s lead on stop and search said “Response teams across the force region will benefit but there will be a focus on those operating in higher knife crime areas.

He added: “This investment means that close to half of all our response cars will know carry knife wands. It’s a move that’s been taken as part of our wider work to tackle knife crime and to make it more difficult for people to conceal weapons.

“The wands are effective stop and search tools and less intrusive for suspects. But it’s a type of search we still need reasonable grounds to use − they can’t be used indiscriminately − and must record after each deployment.

“And they are not a replacement for a thorough personal search of suspects as they will only detect metallic weapons.”