Local MP Douglas Carswell has raised with the government the dangers of curtailing stop and search powers for Essex Police.
Douglas asked what assessment the government has made of changing the guidelines for stop and search, and the effect it might have on knife-crime in Tendring. The response from the minister of state for policing, Mike Penning, said that "No assessment has been made of the effect on knife crime or other offences... statistical evidence does not suggest a clear relationship between changes in the use of stop and search and knife crime."
The new guidelines were introduced by the coalition government and clarify what constitutes reasonable grounds for suspicions. They amended existing stop and search powers and came into force in March 2015.
Douglas said "I am slightly worried about the government's apparent lack of concern over how stop and search powers operate. It's right that those in the police who abuse their stop and search powers face consequences. But I fear that PCs on the beat might feel uncomfortable using them at all, with the unintended consequence of rising knife crime as a result."
Douglas will continue to ensure that police stations across the constituency remain as well staffed as possible. Last week, he voted for a Labour motion which called on the government to protect frontline police work and slow the reduction in funding over the next few years.