A DISTRICT MP is calling on police to carry out more stop and searches in a bid to combat knife crime.

Sir Philip Davies, whose Shipley constituency includes Cullingworth and Denholme, says the move could act as a deterrent to anyone tempted to carry knives.

He says: "We are seeing a rise in knife crime, and something needs to be done about it.

"If more stop and searches are needed as a preventative measure or to send out a message, then I believe it should happen.

"People who are not doing anything wrong have nothing to fear from this."

Sir Philip says research earlier this year by Personal Injury Claims UK found that rising numbers of young people were victims of, or suspects in, crimes involving zombie knives and machetes.

He added that according to the study, the number of zombie knife crimes across West Yorkshire had increased by 32 per cent in the past three years.

"Government has legislated to close a loophole surrounding the sale of zombie knives and machetes however increasing numbers of constituents are telling me they are concerned about knife crime and want to see more robust policing on this issue," said Sir Philip.

But West Yorkshire Police says there has been an 11 per cent reduction in knife crime offending over the past six months, and that reducing it further – plus raising awareness around the dangers of carrying knives – remains a key priority this year.

The force also runs Operation Jemlock, a dedicated initiative for tackling knife and violent crime, and officers continue to be deployed in knife-crime hotspots.

Chief Inspector James Kitchen, of Operation Jemlock, says: "Our enforcement operations and patrols to take offenders and weapons off the streets continue, as does huge investment in knife crime awareness work within communities – with young people in particular.

"Police and partners have engaged with tens of thousands of young people across West Yorkshire about the dangers of carrying knives.

"The vast majority of our young people are not involved in this kind of offending, but we and our partners continue to work to reach the minority which does carry weapons to understand why they feel they must do so and the culture and pressures which drive this.

"Clearly this work goes far beyond policing, and this is a process which will take a long time and needs a great deal of support from communities.

"It is never acceptable to carry knives."