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One Year Old Amongst 356 Children Stopped-and-Searched

A one-year-old was one of the 356 minors stopped and searched across Scotland according to a Freedom of Information Act.

The request, which came from the BBC showed that almost 20,000 people were stopped-and-searched in North Ayrshire alone in 2014, with 36 minors searched in the area.

Stop-and-searches are carried out if police believe there is a genuine threat and to prevent crime.

Stop-and-Search

Police require permission to search a minor unless they believe there is a valid reason to search them, although SMPs have stated that they plan to prevent any child being searched.

80% of those searched in North Ayrshire were male. In contrast, over 180 of those stopped were over 65 with two of those stopped and searched being 89-years-old.

Criticism for Police Tactic

Despite the stop-and-search tactic coming under mass criticism by politicians and some media publications, over 50% of the general public are in favour of the police continuing the policy.

The general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, Calum Steele sent an open letter to ministers stating that they were in danger of acting unlawfully and preventing the police from doing their job 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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