Stop and search: ITV News witnesses controversial tactic on the frontline in Barking

Tap above to watch video report by Martin Stew

When lockdown began and crime started falling the Met sensed an opportunity to reclaim areas where gangs, drugs and violence have flourished in recent years.

The Violence Suppression Unit was set up with officers targeting small beats to try to stop crime returning to pre-lockdown levels.

They are not without controversy as they frequently rely on stop and search.

Last night ITV News had rare access to the east London unit based in Barking, where Martin Stew witnessed the police tactic in action.