Accessibility Options Printer friendly Email us Contact us

Stop and Search for Under-12's Oral Question, 19/02/15 [S]

During First Minister's Question Time on 19 February 2015 Willie Rennie (LD) asked the First Minister that† Senior Police Officers had told us that stop and search for under-12s had ended, but it had not. They told us that the numbers that were released were wrong, but privately admitted that they were right. The police told us that they were forced to release the information, but that was wrong, too. Is this really good enough for our police and for Scotland?

The First Minister† replied, that the police, including the chief constable, will be before the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing later today and I am sure that they will answer those and many more questions.

Willie Rennie made a number of different points in one question, so I will try to answer them in turn. The clear policy is that there should be no non-statutory searches of under-12s. Information has been provided to police officers about the range of ways in which they can engage children under 12 short of relying on non-statutory stop and search.

In terms of the wider issue about non-statutory stop search, as we discussed at the previous session of First Ministerís questions, the chief constable is now considering ending the practice altogether. A short-life working group has been established to consider that and its implications. The group will report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice by the end of March and then the Parliament will be updated and will be able to debate the issue in full.

For the full answer to this and any subsidiary questions see the Scottish Parliament Official Report 19 February 2015 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Official Report 19 February 2015