Scottish Government dismissed new stop and search powers following public consultation

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18th November 2016 17:50 - Public Consultation

Scottish Government dismissed new stop and search powers following public consultation: After the findings of a public consultation into new stop and search powers - which proposed that the police should be given more power to stop and search young people for alcohol – it has been ruled by the Scottish Government that police will not be granted the further powers.Scottish Government dismissed new stop and search powers following public consultation

After listening to the perceptions of young people, as well as justice and children’s groups, the Scottish Government concluded that there was not enough evidence to warrant police officers being handed extras powers.

More than 130 organisations and individuals took part in the public consultation, which included dialogues with young people who had past experiences of being stopped and searched by the police force.

Next year, a new stop and search code of conduct will be introduced and for 12 months post-introduction, the Government will collect further evidence before the policy will be reviewed once more.

Scottish police are already allowed to confiscate alcohol from young people and children in public; however, an independent stop and search advisory group has recommended that the public consultation should be conducted over the implementation of further powers.

The Justice Secretary for Scotland, Michael Matheson, has claimed that the decision is important for keeping the trust between the public and Police Scotland strong. He also said that gathering further evidence on the subject is important.

Matheson added that although stop and search can be a valuable tool for combatting crime but it is vital that they get the right balance between the rights of individuals and protecting the public.

As a result of recommendations from the independent advisory group, the Scottish police force are phasing out the practice of non-statutory stop and search.

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