Knife crime has soared since Theresa May kerbed police use of stop and search, a tactic that activists condemn as “racist” but which senior officers insist saves black lives.
The year ending December 2016 saw 32,448 criminal offences involving a blade or other sharp weapon take place in Britain, a rise of 14 per cent from the previous year and the biggest knife crime total since 2011.
With five young men having been stabbed to death in London already this year, police warn that these are the first signs of a knife crime epidemic in major UK cities.
The increase comes as figures revealed the number of stops and searches shrunk 57 per cent in 2015-16 compared to 2013-14.
Knife crime recorded in England and Wales was in decline at the beginning of the decade, and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) notes the trend has reversed in the past two years.
In 2015, Home Secretary May introduced reforms to cut police use of stop and search, alleging the tactic is “unfair, especially to young black men”.
Later that year May slammed warnings by senior police chiefs that the reduction in stops and searches by officers was fueling rising knife crime in London as “false”.
The then home secretary insisted the reforms would “actually help reduce knife crime”, in a speech which blasted the police for being ‘too white’.
Ex-prison governor David Wilson, now a criminology professor at Birmingham City University, said: “The reduction in stop and search is undoubtedly one factor in a cocktail that has led to an increase in people carrying knives.”
“If people feel less likely to get stopped, they will feel emboldened to go out with a knife,” he told the Daily Mail.
David Green of think-tank Civitas said: “Police have been deterred from carrying out as many stop and searches as would be justified by the prevalence of knife crime because of the fear of being accused of racial discrimination.
Documents leaked last summer revealed StopWatch, the UK’s major campaign against police powers to stop and search, to be backed by globalist billionaire George Soros.
As Breitbart London reported in August, the Hungarian financier’s Open Society Foundations bragged about being the only organisation “willing to fund controversial documentation and advocacy that accuses European police of discriminatory practices”.
That month, the former Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley said stop and search is a vital tactic for saving black lives.
“Stop and search works if we want to stop, frankly, black youths killing other black youths,” he told Sky News.
Hurley estimated “probably in the order of 100 to 150-plus black mothers didn’t lose their sons through stabbing”, thanks to the decision in 2008 to step up the use of stop and search in response to a spate of knife murders.
He remarked that in 2008, of the 29 teenagers who had been stabbed to death in London in that year alone, 28 had been black, and “virtually all of the assailants were black”.