MP calls for stop-and-search powers to be retained in Clacton

AN MP claims it would be a "disaster" for Clacton's battle against knife crime if police lost their powers to search suspects in the street.

A review of stop-and-search powers is underway nationally after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found police failed to record "reasonable" reasons for searching people in a quarter of cases.

The Home Office launched the review after concerns about how police used the powers before the 2011 summer riots in London.

But Clacton MP Douglas Carswell said they were vital to tackle knife crime.

"Knife crime has been a problem in Clacton town centre", he said.

"The good news is that in 2013 the police recognised it has become a problem - and have taken steps to tackle it".

Earlier this year Clacton police launched Operation Statesman which led to a number of arrests and a fall in knife-related incidents.

Mr Carswell said: "I am concerned that the Home Office review of police powers of stop-and-search could mean that the police find that they cannot take the steps that they have taken.

"It would be a disaster if at some point in the future Essex police chiefs ruled out more stop-and-search in Clacton citing some Home Office guidelines.

"I have written to the Home Secretary previously saying that it should be for the directly elected police commissioner to determine policy towards stop and search. We need stop-and-search here in Clacton."

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