Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has welcomed an independent report into the use of police stop and search powers.
The report on the Stop and Search Code of Practice, carried out by the Independent Advisory Group covers the first 12 months of the code’s operation up to 31 May 2018.
Mr Yousaf said:
“I am grateful to the independent advisory group, whose work has provided police, Parliament and the public with a much clearer picture of the use and circumstances of stop and search powers which we can see are now less frequently used than when concerns were first expressed.
“I welcome the significant increase in the proportion of searches which have resulted in a positive outcome, suggesting that stop and search is being used in a more appropriate and targeted way, resulting in a more effective use of police time and resources.
“This is testament to the professionalism and responsiveness of the police service, which has delivered significant improvements to the stop and search process over the last few years. We will continue to work with Police Scotland and others to consider how best the recommendations in the report might best be met.”
The research report marks the conclusion of work commenced in 2015 with the publication of the final report of the Independent Advisory Group on Stop and Search. This new research covers the first 12 months of operation of the Code of Practice for Stop and Search in Scotland which came into force in May 2017.
The Scottish Government has accepted the recommendations of the report insofar as they relate to the suggested gaps in legislation, and government officials will continue to work with Police Scotland, along with other relevant stakeholders, to consider how these recommendations might best be met, taking into account all the evidence gathered to date and possible future legislative options.
The reports are available below: