Courtney ‘The Knife Man’ Barrett is known across London as one of the biggest anti knife crime campaigners in our community. He is often found on the streets of east London with his well known wheelie bin behind him, collecting knives off our streets.
He really is a a local legend who spends hours chatting to youth and showing them the true consequences of what happens when you carry a knife.
On Tuesday the local anti knife crime campaigner joined Talk radio to discuss stop and search and its use in our society.
The use of stop and search has been in the spotlight once again as Kit Malthouse the Policing Minister announced plans on Tuesday to ease restrictions, stating that there was no other feasible alternative to tackle crime.
This has regurgitated the same argument on stop and search, with groups such as the Criminal Justice Alliance unhappy with the relaxation of these powers.
Yet knife crime has spiralled out of control and is rife on the streets of London. Most of us saw the shocking Twitter footage of three armed officers exiting a bus, one carrying a machete taken from a youth who was escorted off the bus. Why is it shocking? Multiple reasons. Firstly the incident took place in broad day light. Secondly that youth chose to board a bus with many passengers carrying a weapon of that size. Thirdly what has gone so terribly wrong in our society to push a teenager to leave his house carrying a killer knife like that?
Whether you agree or vehemently disagree with stop and search, the removal of that horrific weapon by those police officers has saved a person’s life.
The permanent relaxation of section 60 powers on Tuesday by the government has undoubtedly alarmed campaigners in our community, yet these powers will save lives in the battle to stop the knife crime pandemic.
They were restricted in 2014 by the then Home Secretary Teresa May who proceeded to destroy police morale to the best of her ability and decimate police forces across the country.
Last week we saw the Police Federation of England and Wales pass an overwhelming motion of no confidence in the current Home Secretary Priti Patel MP as the government have placed a pay freeze on their wages. After all, the police don’t really deserve a pay rise as how important is their job in our society? Let’s have a think about that perhaps.
Courtney is now working with officers to discuss how to go forward with stop and search, he is a big supporter of good policing and is happy to work with police officers as much as he can.
He told listeners on Talk radio: “We need stop and search but we need it done the right way. Let’s face it the police are in the same condition as us, their lives are in danger too, they don’t want to be searching people and facing the possiblity of being stabbed.
“The police want to build relationships with the community and put the past behind them. If they hold up their hands and say this is how it was and we apologise but now we are reviewing it and working with our communities.”
The argument over stop and search continues with anti knife crime campaigners working hand in hand with our police.
For the moment, it is a necessary tool in our society and as such is saving lives.