PUBLISHED 9 FEBRUARY 2015
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) will tomorrow (Friday 13 February) hold an additional board meeting to seek answers on recent issues raised around the past and future use of the stop and search tactic in Scotland.
The meeting will address two primary issues:
1. Scrutiny of the performance of Police Scotland in relation to non-statutory stop and search of children under 12;
2. An initial examination of the options, alternatives and implications of ending the use of non-statutory stop and search as a whole.
Last week, Police Scotland released information to the media which appeared to indicate that a considerable number of children under 12 have continued to be stopped and searched on a consensual basis, after very clear commitments were made to both Parliament and the SPA last year that this practice would end.
The SPA will question the Chief Constable Sir Stephen House, and Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick, on whether the information released to the media and carried in widespread reporting was accurate, if so why the commitment to end such searches has not yet been fulfilled, and when Police Scotland does expect to be in a position to fulfil the commitment.
The Chief Constable also last week made an announcement that he had taken a decision to review, in partnership with SPA and HMICS, measures to replace the consensual element of the stop and search tactics against the backdrop of a record drop in crime, including violent crime across Scotland, the ongoing commitment to using police powers proportionately, and the conclusion of a six month stop and search pilot in Fife.
The SPA meeting will seek to explore in more detail the evidence that has led Police Scotland to promote this review at this time, what early consideration has been given to alternatives and options to replace consensual stop and search, and what assessment Police Scotland has made so far on the various impacts and implications of such a change – legal, operational, financial, equalities, and on communities.
The meeting is taking place 10am - 11.30am and will be available to watch live or recorded (available within one hour of the event concluding) via our Livestream channel. Click on the link below to watch: