West Midlands Police is using extra powers to stop and search people in their fight against knife crime in Westside and other areas of Birmingham city centre.
The new Section 60 powers will allow officers to stop and search people they suspect to be involved in violence, or carrying weapons, without the need to have reasonable grounds.
Chief Inspector James Spencer, of West Midlands Police, said: “We’re fortunate to be part of one of the biggest and best cities in the country and we want everyone to safely enjoy all it has to offer.
“It means we won’t tolerate violence and is why we are taking action in response to recent stabbings, robberies and weapons being brought into the city.
“Today we’ll be using section 60 powers in and around the city centre to help us do this. This allows us to stop and search people we suspect may be involved in violence, or carrying weapons, without the need to have reasonable grounds.
“Every time someone carries a knife or other weapon they run the risk of ruining lives, not only others but their own too.
“It’s illegal to carry knives or any other weapons and it can lead to a criminal record and prison sentence which impacts on education, employment and travel.”
Chief Inspector Spencer explained that the force will be organising stop and search scrutiny panels for the public to provide feedback on the new measures.
He added: “We appreciate the impact of stopping people under section 60 and we’re keen to hear from you about how we exercise these powers. We’re continually looking to learn and improve.
“It’s through your support and sharing information we can help ensure Birmingham is a safe place for all.”
Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “We welcome this action by our police partners to help us make Westside an even safer place to be.”
Main image: West Midlands Police shared a picture of the knife found after a stabbing in the city.