§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on proposed revisions to the powers of the police to stop and search persons suspected of carrying knives. 
§ Mr. Maclean
I intend to lay before Parliament soon changes to the code of practice on the exercise by police officers of stop and search powers, issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which will clarify that police officers may stop and search people who are identifiable as belonging to a group or gang whose members habitually carry knives. Amendments to police powers in the Knives Bill, which received its Committee stage on Wednesday 22 January, will allow an inspector to authorise police officers to stop and search anyone in a particular locality for up to 24 hours, where he reasonably believes that incidents involving serious violence may taken place or that people are carrying knives in that area. The inspector will be required to inform a superintendent of the authorisation as soon as it is practicable to do so. An extension of the authorisation for a further 24 hours may be given at the direction of a superintendent.