Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes has urged the SNP to back her proposals to put all stop and search on a legal footing following a damning academic report into a heralded pilot on the practise.
Last year, officers in Fife piloted an approach to stop and search with young people which involved visiting schools to promote why consensual stop and search was neccessary. The approach has come under criticism in the independent academic report, which found that number of stop searches soared after its introduction.
Ms McInnes said:
"This is a damning report which I sincerely hope Police Scotland, the SPA and SNP Ministers will give the consideration it deserves.
"The Fife Pilot was intended to address the many problems with Police Scotland's over zealous approach to stop and search. This shows that young people have been marginalised even further with a significant increase in volume of stop and search and a fall in positive finds. Police Scotland have come under criticism for promoting the merits of the policy despite direct concerns being raised by young people. This is a sorry mess which risks permanently undermining relationships between young people and police if lessons are not learnt.
"Whilst I am delighted that there is further academic support for my calls for all stop searches to be put on a legal footing, the Scottish Government's voice continues to be absent from this debate. I would urge the SNP to consider the significant opposition to unregulated, voluntary stop searches and back my proposals."