UK 6 March 2019 Send in the army: stupid Tory “solutions” to knife crime Political incorrectness gone mad. Getty Crimewave brainwaves. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up A spate of knife crime is upon us, and the Men Are Having Ideas. Yes, two of the most ludicrous Tories have come up with two daft “solutions” to the growing rate of violent crime across the country. With his signature idiot grin, the toy Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested sending in the army. Again. Ever playing soldiers, he has said the UK’s armed forces “stand ready” to intervene in knife crime, and that military personnel “would always be ready to respond”, while the Ministry of Defence “always stands ready to help any government department”. Do the Tories not realise they’ve not only cut police numbers, but the defence budget too? Details, details. Next up was the former foreign secretary and sinister anti-clown Boris Johnson who used a column in the Daily Mail – the biggest weapon the government knows how to wield – to suggest beefing up stop-and-search powers, calling them “an essential tool of big-city crime fighting”. Except, of course, they’re not. While criticising City Hall for pandering to “politically correct squeamishness surrounding stop and search,” Johnson fails to mention that last January Sadiq Khan announced a “significant increase” in police’s use of stop and search and the Met increased its use of stop-and-search last year. Yet the number of arrests it yielded – at 16 per cent – was a lower proportion than in April 2016-March 2017 (17 per cent), and April 2017-March 2018 (19 per cent). Johnson also mentions New York in the piece, but somehow omits that since police reduced their use of equivalent stop and frisk powers in the city, the murder rate has fallen to a record low. › First Thoughts: The causes of knife crime and Margaret Thatcher’s missing museum I'm a mole, innit. Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!