Case for legal framework for stop and search stronger than ever

Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that their case for all stop and searches to be put on a legal footing is “stronger than ever” following an admission by the Chief Constable that under the current system police officers could still conduct consensual stop and searches of children.

During evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s subcommittee on policing, Chief Constable Stephen House said that consensual stop and search was “policy not law.”

Speaking afterwards, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:

“The Chief Constable remains unwilling to take on widely held concerns. Hard-working police officers across the country deserve better.

“The Chief Constable’s defence of “indefensible” stop and searches makes it essential to put them on a legal footing. He made clear that there is absolutely nothing to stop police officers conducting consensual stop and searches of under 12s.

“It isn’t fair on communities or on police officers to have a system where police chiefs have free rein. If we are being told consensual stop and searches of children will end, it must end.

“My amendments would help restore confidence in the police and give police officers clear parameters in which to operate.”

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