Boris Johnson says expanding stop and search policy is 'kind and loving'
He insisted that stop and search remained "an important part in fighting crime."
Boris Johnson has defended his plans to expand stop and search powers for police forces, describing it as a "kind and loving" way to get weapons off the street.
The plans have been criticised by campaigners, with experts describing stop and search as a method that is "ineffective" and racially disproportionate in who it targets.
But the Prime Minister insisted that parents of knife crime victims were among those who supported the policy the most.
Speaking to reporters at Surrey Police HQ, the PM said: "I think that giving the police the backing that they need in law to stop someone, to search them, to relieve them of a dangerous weapon – I don't think that's strong-arm tactics, I think that's a kind and a loving thing to do.
"The people who often support stop and search most passionately are the parents of the kids who are likely themselves to be the victims of knife crime.
"I disagree with the opponents of stop and search ... They are not the only tool that we have got to use. They are part of a range of things we have got to do to fight street crime."
"We've got to make sure we arm our police".
PM Boris Johnson says he "disagrees" with the opponents of stop and search, saying that it's not "strong arm tactics", but a "kind and loving thing to do".
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The government's new crime plan was launched on Tuesday and will ease restrictions on stop and search powers for police.
Included in these plans are a permanent relaxation of conditions on the use of section 60 stop and search powers. Under this rule officers are able to search anyone in an area where serious violence is expected.
However, the Independent reports that the Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) claim section 60 searches lead to "thousands of innocent people being unnecessarily stopped and searched every year. The CJA also argue that it is ineffective, with statistics showing that 99% of section 60 searches do not find any weapons.