News

Police in talks to scrap ‘reasonable grounds’ condition for stop and search

Police chiefs want to trigger an expansion of stop and search by lowering the level of suspicion an officer needs against a suspect to use the power, the Guardian has learned.

They want to scrap the requirement that “reasonable grounds” are needed before a person can be subjected to a search, amid mounting concern over knife attacks.

Senior officers have held talks with advisers to the home secretary, Sajid Javid, within the last fortnight to discuss the issue. It would fuel the debate about police discrimination against minority ethnic communities, civil liberties and the role stop and search has to play in tackling violent crime.

The proposals, which apply to England and Wales, would also make it more likely that those caught with a knife could be dealt with by an education programme, the so-called public health approach, rather than ending up before the courts.

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