Police in Scotland have been requested to explain the “sorry mess” over its handling of data on stop-and-search, reports the BBC.
According to Liberal Democrat Alison McInnnes, a member of the Scottish Parliament Justice sub-committee on policing, they will have many questions to ask senior officers. Labour’s Hugh Henry also confirmed that Sir Stephen House will have “some serious questions to answer.”
Only days ago, Sir Stephen admitted to the police watchdog that the data released on stop-and-search was “not 100% accurate,” and that he was forced to release the statistics by the Information Commissioner.
However, email conversations between the police and the commissioner do not support this claim. Scotland’s Information Commissioner has said that the release was entirely voluntary.
Hugh Henry, Scottish Labour’s Justice spokesman, stated: “I think Sir Stephen had better take another look at his notebook.”
The data was given to the BBC under Freedom of Information legislation. The BBC revealed that Scottish police were continuing to stop-and-search hundreds of children under the age of 12, in spite of a pledge to put a stop to the tactic.
Assistant chief constable Wayne Mawson, who will appear before MSPs, had previously made the following announcement: “I am going to make a strong statement: from here on in, we should not search children who are under the age of consent.”
The figures, however, reveal that 356 children were searched after this pledge was made. Children were mostly being searched for alcohol, weapons and stolen items. Some 91% of searches recovered no items.
The Justice Sub-Committee was broadcasted live on BBC Scotland’s Democracy Live website on February 19th.