Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today applauded the transformation of stop and search practices, after a new independent review confirmed that the new system developed by the party has ended the previous “over-reliance on excessive and often counter-productive use of stop and search”.
Scottish Liberal Democrats led a 2-year campaign to reform stop and search, successfully re-writing the law to ban so-called consensual searches and introduce a code to govern the remaining statutory searches, ending the industrial scale use of the tactic.
Following the publication of the 12-month review of the code of practice for stop and search, Liam McArthur commented:
“SNP ministers from Alex Salmond downwards said they were ‘comfortable’ with industrial scale police stop and search and the old system which deemed children under 10 capable of consenting to being searched.
“It is only thanks to the 2-year Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign that the stop and search system has been revolutionised.
“As this report shows, it’s been a win-win for both people’s rights and police resources. Search numbers have decreased, detection rates improved, and both the police and public can have greater confidence that the system is proportionate and respectful.
“This is good news for the officers who were under pressure to conduct searches they didn’t believe in and for everyone who agrees with Liberal Democrats that the police must have a good reason to search people.”