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Boris Johnson calls for more stop-and-search powers to end 'absolute misery' of knife crime

FOREIGN Secretary Boris Johnson has called for more use of stop-and-search powers to end the "absolute misery" that knife crime causes.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Boris said that police had to "take knives off the streets" and come down like a "ton of bricks" on gang leaders.

He added that although his approach to the matter during his time as Mayor of London was controversial, “by God it worked.”

While Home Secretary Amber Rudd was faced with calls to resign over the Windrush immigration scandal, Boris stated that Britain must be "liberal" about migration and attract top talent.

With a clear dig at his successor Sadiq Khan, Boris added that there must be "very tough law enforcement" and that he "vividly" remembered the knife crisis he was fighting when he took up the post.

He added: “It was an absolute nightmare. We were having about 28 or 30 kids killed every year most of them in knife attacks.


“We did two things simultaneously and this is what Sadiq Khan needs to do. You cannot be soft on this.

“You have got to stop them, you have got to search them and you have got to take the knives out of their possession.

“We did that with Operation Blunt II. We took tens of thousands of knives off the streets.”

He also said that during his time as Mayor serious youth crime was cut by 32 per cent, murder was down by 50 per cent and then the murder rate was fewer than 100 for several years running.”


This comes after almost 40 people have been fatally stabbed in London since the start of the year, and over 50 people murdered in the capital.

During her time as Home Secretary, Theresa May introduced changes in 2014 which meant stop and search were only allowed with ‘reasonable grounds’ for suspicion and the use of the powers dipped.



But ministers have said they will u-turn on stop and search by extending their powers to include more possible crimes in the future.

They will consult on whether to include acid attack suspects and those who they think are carrying extreme weapons in a bit to stem the flow of violent attacks.



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Boris also said in his interview that Britain must "stay close" to the EU while finding the "space to do things in a different way" in the wake of Brexit.

He said the EU referendum was about having the ability to "call the shots" when we leave.

"Countries are democratically entitled to decide how open they should be," he said. "That was the problem with the EU – it fundamentally took away people's democratic ability to decide who could come."


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