The founder of Binning Knives Saves Lives, Courtney ‘The Knife Man’ Barrett yesterday visited New Scotland Yard, the home of the Met Police to start talks with Chief Superintendent Roy Smith on reviewing the ‘stop and search’ tactics.
The east London community champion who has taken literally thousands of knives of the streets of London, met the high ranking police officer to begin talks on how to improve the current stop and search tool so that it does not disparage any members of the community, in particular our black community.
Courtney told the London News section of the Havering Daily:
“I support our police and I completely understand how vital the stop and search tool is in our society at the moment, especially with the current knife crime epidemic.
“However, it must be done the right way and not discriminate against the black community. Stop and searches are extremely necessary and should be increased but before this happens the police need to retrain their officers on how to perform them in a way that builds trust instead of enemies.
“Police stop and searches need to behave like adults and not like a gang which is how many of the youth of today see the police.
“Communities need to be able to trust the police but many don’t, until the police review their stop and search tactics this will not get better.
“Police officers need to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and not behave aggressively. We need to remember that the police are only human too and need our support.”
Courtney is working closely with Mr Smith to help the police build trust and confidence amongst our black communities.
Chief Superintendent Smith told the Havering Daily: “There aren’t many police officers who would suggest that stop and search is a long term solution to violence. However, it is a necessary tool at the moment with the level of knife crime on our streets.
“It is important for us to work closely with people like Courtney so that we can build positive relationships with all members of our community and listen carefully to what they have to say.
“It is by working together that we can build a good platform and by listening to each other that we can all move forward in the right direction.”
Stop and searches are often the topic of discussion with police officers frequently coming under fire. However, at the moment they and the anti knife crime campaigners are the ones tackling this epidemic head on in a desperate bid to stop the tidal wave.
Until all of our communities realise that this is a problem that urgently needs to be addressed, then stop and search tactics will continue to be a necessity.
“I was honoured to be invited to Scotland Yard to meet with Chief Superintendent Roy Smith to discuss police stop and search procedures yesterday. He’s an extraordinarily committed officer who frequently goes beyond the call of duty to get things done.
“Our meeting was extremely positive, even though discussing stop and search procedures can be a contentious subject.
“We also discussed my suggestion that the police need to be getting involved with as much youth engagement as possible, such as the successful police and youth debate held by All Champion’s Charity in Dagenham last week.
I made it clear to Mr Smith that this type of youth interaction is needed in every London borough.
“These are the issues I thought I was meeting about, so I was surprised but very grateful, when Mr Smith thanked me sincerely for all the work I’ve done. I was even more surprised when he went on to ask me how he can help and what do I need. He then pledged to help with Binning Knives Saves Lives operating across every London Borough. This is superb news for London, and every Londoner should be thankful that we have pro active police officers such as Chief Superintendent Roy Smith.
“I look forward to working with Mr Smith in the future, as I’m confident that we can make a real impact on reducing knife crime with his help and with the support of the Met police.”
Chief Superintendent Smith is an officer based at New Scotland Yard who is very well respected and trusted by many members of the community. By working with Courtney the two can build a very positive relationship to take our community in the right direction.