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Rennie calls for publication of stop and search correspondence

February 14, 2015 11:29 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today called for the publication of correspondence between Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on stop and search data.

Mr Rennie's call follows the appearance of the Chief Constable in front of the Scottish Police Authority where he said that the data provided to researchers on stop and search was wrong, but that Police Scotland were compelled to release it by the ICO.

Following the meeting, Margaret Keyse, head of enforcement at the Scottish ICO, told the BBC that "The Commissioner did not make a formal decision, so it is inaccurate to say Police Scotland was compelled to disclose the information to you: it did so voluntarily."

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

"The account that the Chief Constable offered to the SPA has been flatly contradicted by the Information Commissioner's Office. You do not have to be Columbo to see that something is not quite right here.

"Police officers would not take a statement like this on face value if it came from a suspect. I don't think the SPA should be asked to either.

"We need clarity on what information Police Scotland was asked to provide. That starts with the publication of correspondence between the Chief Constable and the Information Commissioner's Office on stop and search.

"Ordinary police officers, the SPA and everyone else deserves an open and honest account of how we have ended up in this mess."