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Unregulated use of stop and search indefensible

June 23, 2014 8:43 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP todayAlison McInnesAlison McInnes said the unregulated use of stop and search is indefensible after reports that Police Scotland appear to have overstated the number of weapons discovered through the controversial policy.

End of year figures from Police Scotland showed that the number of offensive and bladed weapons discovered through stop and search was 1,506 lower than the number of 'positive searches' for the same category.

Analysis showed that over 12 months, 29% of more than 5000 searches for weapons recorded as 'positive' did not find weapons.

Commenting, Alison McInnes MSP said:

"The more Police Scotland's approach to stop and search is put under the microscope the more worrying it all becomes.

"Now it turns out that the recorded 'positive' searches for offensive weapons did not actually detect an offensive weapon - that's a new definition of positive.

"For months I have challenged the Justice Secretary on the dangers of unregulated stop and search and time after time he has relied on these dodgy figures to defend the practice.

"Only on Thursday Police Scotland finally conceded that voluntary searches of young children are indefensible. This latest discovery shows that there is more to reform. The Justice Secretary must surely recognise that the unregulated nature of stop and search in Scotland is indefensible."