Almost 20,000 people were stopped and searched by police in 2014, with a one-year-old being stopped in North Ayrshire as part of police strategic tactics to prevent crime.
A Freedom of Information Act revealed that 19,406 people were stopped in North Ayrshire as police believed they had reason to search individuals to prevent crime.
Rules to Protect Minors
Despite rules stating that minors can only be searched if police have a valid reason, 26 minors were stopped and searched in North Ayrshire, with a one-year-old being searched. Over 300 children were searched across Scotland despite Police Scotland stating that they had scrapped searching of minors.
In contrast, 183 elderly people were stopped and searched by police, with two 89 year-olds being stopped and searched. Police are compelled to ask to stop and search when the candidate is a minor.
Over 15,000 searches were carried out on males who made up 80% of all those stopped in the area.
Favour of Stop-and-Search
Although the statistics have been met with some criticism, a poll shows that the majority of Scots favour stop and search.
General secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, Calum Steele stated in an open letter that ministers were in danger of acting unlawfully if they banned the searches.
He said: “The events of the past week have resulted in a frightening narrative that politicians believe that they are in a position and indeed have a role to play in determining how and when police officers exercise their right to stop and search someone.
“It is also alarming to read and hear reports that politicians consider that they are in a position to reach an agreement with or direct the chief constable of the day as to how and when such powers will be used.
“The authority of police officers to stop and search any citizen does not arise from the dictate of politicians nor from some non-existent power of the chief constable but comes from the law of the land both at common law and statute.”
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