Police stop and search figures soar in Angus

A North-East MP has expressed his concern over the extent of Police Scotland’s stop and search policy across Angus.

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone has claimed he is concerned that Police Scotland are adopting an over the top approach to the stop and search policy in the county.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said Police Scotland’s recently published performance report showed that between 2012/13 and 2013/14 the number of stop and search incidents across Angus increased by almost 300 per cent.

“I am concerned they are arbitrarily using this tool without proper consideration”, said Mr Johnstone.

“Given that the Scottish Police Authority have questioned the effectiveness of stop and search, it would be better if the police re-assessed their use of it. The last thing we need to see is a one size fits all approach, resulting in Strathclyde-style policing being rolled out across Angus.”

Mr Johnstone added he welcomed recent developments that would see an end to stop and searches of under-12s and he hoped this would signal the start of a more responsible approach by Police Scotland.

The police performance report is the first time Police Scotland have released year on year data relating to stop and search.

The report also shows that the number of under 15-year-old females who were searched increased by more than 2000 per cent while the number of males in that age group who were stopped increased by 588 per cent.

The report also revealed that people living in Scotland were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than people who live in New York City.