An increase in the Stop and Search programme as proposed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is not the answer, the Lib Dems have said after a Home Office report claimed it had "no statistically significant crime-reducing effect".
Earlier this week, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham called for more Stop and Search operations in Manchester to tackle the rise in knife crime.
However, a Home Office report from a London-based trial concluded, “Overall, analysis shows that there was no discernible crime-reducing effects from a large surge in stop and search activity at the borough level during the operation.”
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Manchester, Greg Stanton, responded:
"My heart aches every time I hear of another young life lost to knife crime but this is an incredibly complex and sensitive issue and increasing Stop and Search operations is not the way forward.
"We need to be really careful about how we approach this issue because instead of reducing crime, expanding Stop and Search will lead to increased discrimination and undermine the community relations police officers need to prevent knife crime.
"We know what is really needed to tackle this knife crime epidemic: more police, more youth services, better education and a proper public health approach, and the Government and Mayor must work together to make that happen."
A 2016 Home Office analysis of the Met’s ‘Operation BLUNT 2’ found “no statistically significant crime-reducing effect from the large increase in weapons searches” and that “ambulance call-outs actually fell faster in those boroughs that had smaller increases in weapons searches”.
It concluded that “Overall, analysis shows that there was no discernible crime-reducing effects from a large surge in stop and search activity at the borough level during the operation.”