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Police to begin checking students for knives at some London schools after increase in stabbings

'Knife arches will be in place at schools over the next two weeks'

Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Police will install knife arches at schools across three boroughs in London, following the latest stabbing of a 17-year-old in broad daylight over the weekend.

"Knife arches will be in place at schools over the next two weeks, and officers have increased reassurance patrols around the Balham area in light of last Wednesday's stabbing," said Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar of the Basic Command Unit for southwest London, the Sun reported. "We prioritize effective safeguarding, and our schools' officers are working hard to protect and educate our young people in the dangers of carrying knives."

Saturday's bloody attack on the teenager occurred aboard a bus in northwest London. No arrests have been made in connection with the crime. The victim's condition is not immediately known.

Metropolitan Police data showed a 16 percent rise in knife-related crimes in 2018 over the previous year, according to the Sun. Since January, at least 1,299 stabbings have occurred in London.

"Following these distressing events, we decided to implement the use of stop and search powers using Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act," Benatar said. "When it comes to long-term solutions to violent crime, we encourage the proactive use of stop and search where reasonable grounds exist.

"This proves to be one of our most effective means of taking dangerous weapons off the street," Benatar added.

Benatar also empowered officers in south London to search anyone for weapons without cause.

Is the problem widespread?

Crimes involving knives or other sharp instruments are up 30 percent across the United Kingdom since 2011, according to the report.

A string of stabbings over seven hours left a 21-year-old man dead and several others injured last week, the Sun reported.

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