West Midlands Police Chief Constable, Dave Thompson has vowed to implement extensive stop and search powers for the foreseeable future, as police ramp up their efforts to tackle the large surge of knife crime.
He also pledged to continue extra patrols with additional officers in areas of Birmingham offering communities visible reassurance after the murders of three teenagers within days of each other.
He said: “Immediate and intensive action is needed to prevent this current crisis from continuing. My officers have been given extensive powers to search people without the need to suspect they are carrying weapons.
“I recognise this will upset some innocent young people, but I fear the carriage of weapons in the current environment is growing, often through fear, and we can take no chances.
“For our young people, their families and communities we need to stop this emergency quickly. Without specific areas or people to target that means blunt action to prevent violence. That is what we will do.
“Violence builds into the summer months and we will need to apply intensive pressure for a sustained period. We will be courteous but firm.”
He is also urging parents to have conversations with their children to take an active interest in where they are and who they are with. He said: “Arguments and disagreements build on social media or are overheard on the bus and in school or college. We need you to play a part in telling someone if a fight or trouble is brewing or if you hear someone has a knife.
“If you spot trouble ask the police or local authority for help. I do not want to arrest young people if we can avoid this. We need to target the people who make our children feel unsafe. You have to be part of the solution to this problem.”
Longer term West Midlands Police is continuing to build on the work already done with the Police and Crime Commissioner. There are some real successes in the work with schools and young people which needs to continue.