Stop and search figures show need for reform


Scottish Liberal Democrats have repeated calls to put controversial stop and search on a statutory footing after it emerged today that nearly one in five Glaswegians have been subjected to the tactic.

A report into stop and search rates in Scotland is due to be published today by academic Kath Murray. 

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:

"These figures demonstrate the need for an evidence-based, regulated approach to stop and search. With Scottish divisions accounting for seven out of ten areas across the UK with the highest per capita search rate, we must ask if we are getting the balance right between protecting public safety and civil liberties.

"In particular I have concerns that these high rates could be disproportionately affecting some communities and groups, and that runs the risk of resentment building up. Young people have an equal right to live their lives without regularly having to submit to searches.

"The case for reform grows louder with each day. My amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill would put all stop and search on a legal footing and introduce a code of practice. All the evidence shows that this is what is desperately needed if we are to restore faith in Scotland's policing approach."


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