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Concern Over Abolition of Stop-and-Search in Scotland

The former First Minister, Alex Salmond, has expressed concern over proposed changes to stop-and-search in Scotland during a debate in the Scottish Parliament. 

MSPs have approved new legislation that aims to introduce a statutory code for the use of stop and search, however, Mr Salmond said he wanted to see more analysis of how knife crime could be affected. The decision to have a code regarding stop and search came after a report from John Scott QC found that ending the searches would not prevent officers carrying out their duties effectively.

Speaking on the final debate on the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, Salmond called for  "far more analysis of the impact on knife crime of the use of stop and search" stating that “extensive use" of stop and search provided "almost a guarantee" that there would not be "widespread" carrying of knives. He also pointed out that knife crime in England and Wales has risen since the policy of stop and search was abolished there. 

Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill

While the use of stop and search by police forces in Scotland has been controversial, other additions were made to the bill including the right for all to have access to a solicitor, added safeguards for children and an increase in the maximum amount of time in jail for carrying a knife.

The use of stop and search has proven to be ineffective to some, with only a small percentage of people searched carrying a weapon, however, knife crime has reduced with many stating that the introduction of such a policy is a major reason.

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