The use of stop-and-search by police has fallen under Cressida Dick
As commentators warn London is becoming ‘lawless’ amid an increasing murder toll, the use of stop-and-search by police has fallen under Cressida Dick, it has emerged.
The Metropolitan Police carried out 19,931 stop-and-searches in January and February this year, a drop of some six per cent compared to last year.
This comes despite the Scotland Yard chief pledging to use ‘Al Capone’ tactics to tackle the rise in knife and gun related murders.
There were 65,894 stop-and-searches in the second half of last year, compared with 69,895 during the same period in 2016, according to figures obtained by The Times.
Cressida Dick yesterday said a new task force of 120 officers would target the most violent gang member to remove them from London streets ‘for any crime’.
The police chief made reference to the notorious 1920’s Chicago-gangster – who was finally foiled on tax evasion, after evading numerous murder charges – as an example of how potential violent criminals would be brought down.
The Met Commissioner spoke out after two more murders in London, bringing the total in the capital this year to 55.
The Metropolitan Police has launched 55 murder investigations since the start of January
How violent crime rose after Theresa May watered down stop and search powers
Violent crime has spiked after Theresa May ushered in reforms watering down on the use of stop and search.
There were 634,625 violent crimes recorded in England and Wales in the year before April 2014, when the changes were brought in.
But this has doubled in three years surging to 1.3million in the year ending in June 2017.
As Home Secretary Mrs May introduced changes in 2014 which meant police are only allowed to stop people when there is ‘reasonable grounds for suspicion’.
And it warned that where officers misuse the powers they would face disciplinary action.
She introduced the measures amid widespread anger to the power, particularly among the black and ethnic minority population, who said it was used disproportionately against them.
In the years following the reforms stop and search fell to their lowest level since the power was introduced 17 years ago.
But violent crime has risen – sparking calls for the power to be taken up again.
Crime in England and Wales soared by 13 per cent in 2017 with an even bigger rise in violent offences including knife crime and sexual offences.
The number of violent crimes rose from 1,033,719 cases the previous year to 1,229,260 cases this year.
And in 2018 the murder rate in London was higher than New York’s for the first time since records began.
It came after an 18-year-old man was killed in Hackney, after stumbling towards police officers with knife wounds.
While in neighboring Clapton, a man in his fifties died after being punched in a row at a betting shop.
Ms Dick said the Violent Crime Task Force would target the most violent individuals in crime ‘hotspots’.
Explaining the strategy for reducing the current crime wave sweeping London that has seen dozens of teenager stabbed to death in the capital, Ms Dick said there would be a visible increase in officers on the street.
She said they would be ‘even more pro-active’, as well as police flooding hotspots to disrupt potential gang violence before it begins.
Plus, officers would use intelligence-led stop-and-search and the use of specialist covert tactics.
Finally they would be targeting known violent criminals and feeding intelligence to local officers which they can use in a ‘fast-time way’.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, she said: ‘We will put even more effort into bearing down on violent crime.
‘You will see us being even more pro-active out on the streets. We will have a greater presence in the hotspots of violence and a focused effort, including intelligence-led stop-and-search and the use of specialists in covert tactics.
‘We will be looking to target the people we know are the most dangerous and get the intelligence to our local officers which they can use in a fast-time way.’
Ms Dick’s words came after an 18-year-old man identified as Israel Ogunsola was found fatally wounded by officers in Hackney at about 8pm Tuesday.
He died at the scene half an hour later despite receiving first aid.
The number of violent crimes has increased in the years following heavy cuts to police budgets which
STUDENT WAS 55TH VICTIM OF LONDON’S 2018 MURDER SPREE
Israel Ogunsola was found fatally wounded by officers in Hackney at 8pm yesterday
Israel Ogunsola was found fatally wounded by officers in Hackney at 8pm yesterday, and died at the scene half an hour later despite receiving first aid.
He became the 55th victim of London’s 2018 murder spree.
Two boys both aged 17 were arrested on suspicion of murdering the computer programming student, who was helped by an off-duty paramedic until the London Ambulance Service arrived.
It later emerged a Facebook profile under Israel’s name showed he was friends with Tanesha Melbourne, 17, who was shot dead on Monday evening in Tottenham, North London.