New measures to tackle knife crime could alienate young people, the Children's Commissioner for England has warned.
Officers are using powers under Section 60 of the Public Order Act which allow them to search people for knives and guns without reasonable suspicion they may be carrying a weapon. The police said the move, which follows a spate of knife killings in London, is intended to keep young people safe not victimise them.
But Sir Al Aynsley-Green said more stopping and searching of young people could create hostility and called for more research into the effects of the increased powers.
He told the BBC: "There is a balance here. On the one hand for young people to feel safer by having the presence of the police - but on the other hand making sure the new powers don't create further antagonism by increased stopping and searching.
"These are very contentious and I certainly support the case for much more research on the effects of these policies on them." Sir Al added that young people should be seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Stop and search teams using walk-through and hand-held metal detectors have already been deployed in the capital.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Rose Fitzpatrick said: "The work we are doing in London in particular is working alongside communities to do robust stop-and-search operations using knife arches and search wands where intelligence tells us that there is the most likelihood that people are carrying knives and weapons."
"That is not aimed at victimising young people; it's aimed at keeping them safe," she told the BBC.
Speaking earlier this month, Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin said the "fairly in your face" policing of the target areas would be intelligence-led, but with the support of the local community.
Article from AOL.