Call for police stop and search culture change

Police Scotland's new Chief Constable Phil Gormley
Police Scotland's new Chief Constable Phil Gormley

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes has called on the new Chief Constable Phil Gormley to ensure a change in culture takes place within Police Scotland around consensual stop and search.

It comes as a new survey shows some officers still believe they should be searching members of the public to meet volume targets.

The North East Scotland MSP was responding to the study carried out by the Scottish Police Authority, which was published on Wednesday.

She said: “The problems with stop and search are well documented. The pressure on officers to keep their numbers up clearly was a factor in the volume of people who were stopped for no good reason and the move away from so-called consensual stop and search was the right thing to do.

“What this survey shows is that months after this problem was identified, the message that searches should be guided by evidence and not crude targets has still not filtered down to the rank and file.

“The new Chief Constable has the chance to change the culture around stop and search that saw hundreds of young children asked to consent to searches. He needs to take this opportunity.”