MSP’s fears over police stop and search figures

Scottish Conservatives North East MSP Alex Johnstone has revealed his concern over the number of police stop and searches in Angus.

Recently released figures have revealed the extent of Police Scotland’s use of stop and search across the county.

Police Scotland’s performance report shows between 2012/13 and 2013/14 the number of stop and search incidents across Angus increased by almost 300 per cent.

The number of under 15-year-old females who were searched increased by more than 2,000 per cent, while the number of males under that age who were stopped increased by 588 per cent.

The report also reveals people in Scotland are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than people who live in New York City.

This is also the first time Police Scotland have released year on year data relating to stop and search.

Mr Johnstone said: “People across Angus will understandably be concerned at the sharp rise in stop and search incidents, especially among young people.

“For the number of searches to jump by as much as 2,000 per cent in some cases is quite staggering.

“My concern is that Police Scotland are adopting an over-the-top approach and arbitrarily using this tool without proper consideration.

“Given that the Scottish Police Authority have questioned the effectiveness of stop and search, it would be better if the police re-assessed their use of it.

“The last thing we need to see is a one size fits all approach, resulting in Strathclyde-style policing being rolled out across Angus.

“I welcome recent developments that will see an end to stop and searches of under 12s and I hope this will signal the start of a more responsible approach by Police Scotland.”