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New strategy Former Garda detective says 'stop and search' approach must be taken to tackle knife crime

'But it appears now that there's a lot more knife crime and a lot more people dying as a result of the use of knives'

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A former Garda detective has said that a “stop and search” approach must be taken to tackle the steadily growing menace of knife crime. 

Following the death of 25-year-old Ademola Giwa in Dublin on Tuesday, Pat Marry told Newstalk Breakfast that there appears to be a lot more people dying as a result of the use of knives.

"Knife crime has always existed, and I know in my time as a Guard there was many a case of stabbings.

"But it appears now, and especially from media, that there's a lot more knife crime and a lot more people dying as a result of the use of knives.

"And like any problem in society it should be addressed and looked at, and if we don't do that it'll just continue on the same path".

He says a lot of victims and perpetrators are young people "anything from maybe 18 to 24 years of age."

"Like everything else it has to be spoken about and brought out into the public domain.

"When you address the issues, a strategy can be put together to tackle it.

"You have to get young people talking about this and the consequences and dangers of carrying knives.

"I believe that, initially, there should be a policy of stop and search".

In England stop and search means police can stop and question people at any time and search them, depending on the situation.

An officer must be in uniform but must show identification if they are not.

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However, Mr Marry says that this can only be done with reasonable cause "and that would be a difficulty".

"But if there is a situation that has arisen that knife crime is a big part of crime at the moment, there has to be changes to the law to provide for the Guards to stop and search.

"It's only one aspect of it.”

Mr Marry also said that a knife amnesty, to get dangerous weapons off the streets, could be useful.

"An amnesty should be a tool to get young people talking about knife crime and the dangers and consequences of carrying knives.

"A person caught with a knife should have to undertake a knife crime awareness course.

"Part of that course should be that these people carrying knives should be confronted by victims and victim's families, and also be persons whose lives have been affected by carrying knives.

"And maybe at that stage, a young person might be allocated a mentor".

But he says anyone caught with a knife after this should get a two year mandatory sentence.

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