Grieving parents of aspiring athlete Tashan Daniel call for increase in stop and search to halt knife deaths

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot

The grieving parents of a young man stabbed to death as he made his way to an Arsenal football match have called for a greater use of stop and search to curtail a spike in knife crime.

Tashan Daniel, 20, was stabbed to death at Hillingdon Underground Station in west London on September 24.

Two people have been arrested and charged.

The promising athlete's mother, Celia, told ITV News stop and search should "no longer" be seen as racist by society but as an important preventative measure.

Critics argue that stop and search powers unfairly target black and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals.

Home Office figures showed that black people were 9.5 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched - double the rate from five years ago.

Figures released on Thursday showed that police carried out 383,629 stop and searches in the year to the end of March, up more than 10,000 from 282,380 in the same period the previous year.

Some 27% of these searches resulted in action being taken, with 58,876 arrests being made.

PM spoke with grieving parents about stop and search

Tashan's mother said she is "happy to be searched" to make the streets safer and criticised attitudes towards the policy which deem it "racist".

She said: "If you have nothing to hide, I'm happy to be searched.

"That's where society goes wrong, they bring it all back down to a racist thing."

His father, Chandy, told ITV News about the growing problem of knife crime.

"Knife crime has gone off the hook, no one knows who is carrying a knife," Mr Daniel said.

"People are scared to get into arguments with anyone, or even if you see something you're scared.

"As a parent, if you see school children, you're scared to get involved or stop it."

In the aftermath of Tashan's death, the Prime Minister visited the Hillingdon home his family.

Boris Johnson represents the constituency the family live in, and spoke with them about the use of stop and search.

Promising athlete 'could have represented Team GB'

One month after his death, Tashan's parents spoke of how the 20-year-old "was the perfect child, the perfect young man, any parent would want."

At almost the exact time he was killed, they reflected on him and his love for London - his home city.

They believe he could have gone on to achieve great things had he been able to continue with his athletics.

His father told ITV News: "He had the potential, continuing the rate he was going and putting in the hard work, that he could represent Great Britain."

"He was about to go to Florida for the whole winter for training and then hopefully get sponsored by next year - and then just work as hard as he can," added his mother.

A month on from his death, the family are now struggling to deal with their son not being around.

"It's wonderful to hear great things that people are saying about him, but it's hard to accept that at 20 he still had a great future ahead of him," said his father.

"It was robbed by a senseless, cowardly act by someone who just had total disregard for someone else's life."