No new power for police stop-and-searches for alcohol

Date: 15th November 2016
Category: Respect for the views of the child, Protection of privacy

The Scottish Government has decided against the creation of new stop-and-search powers for police which would allow them to search young people for alcohol.

A consultation launched by the Scottish Government on the issue received 130 responses from both individuals and organisations and ministers have said there is insufficient evidence from these submissions to support the creation of new powers. Young people with experience of being searched were also consulted. Together also responded to this consultation with an overall key message that new statutory search powers are unnecessary, disproportionate and an ineffective way of dealing with what are essentially safeguarding concerns. Together therefore welcomes this announcement by Scottish Government.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson responded to the decision by saying:

"Maintaining trust between the police and the public is an important part of finding that balance and we have been listening to people's views, including young people, about when and how stop-and-search should be used."

John Scott QC, who is chairman of the Advisory Group, said that the consultation exercise used for this issue should provide a benchmark for future consultation exercises involving and affecting children and young people in Scotland.

The Government plans to review the policy again next year.