Success on Stop & Search

After an eighteen month-long campaign by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, the SNP has finally conceded defeat and adopted Liberal Democrat proposals for the abolition of so-called consensual stop and search.

This has been a long time coming. Alex Salmond, The Justice Secretary, The Chief Constable - all had insisted that there was nothing wrong. Senior Police Officers were forced to come to Holyrood time and again as it emerged that they had got their facts wrong on the number of searches conducted.

But still they refused to end the controversial use of consensual searches, and people continued to be searched without any reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence.

It shouldn’t have required dozens of charities, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Children’s Commissioner and an independent expert group to back my plans before the Scottish Government admitted there was a problem.

Menahwile hundreds of thousands of young and vulnerable people have been unfairly targeted by Police Scotland’s use of a thoroughly discredited practice.

Today at Holyrood, the justice committee finally agreed to amendments first proposed by the Liberal Democrats that would make it illegal to conduct so-called voluntary stop and search, and will make it a statutory requirement to prepare a code of practice to govern statutory stop and search.

So-called consensual stop and search will now, finally, become illegal.

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