Code of practice for stop and search in Scotland: six-month review

Report on behalf of the Independent Advisory Group on Stop and Search presenting the findings of the interim six month review.


1. The statistics provided by ISD were derived from data collected on discharges from non-obstetric and non-psychiatric hospitals ( SMR01) in Scotland. A hospital stay (also described as a continuous inpatient stay or CIS), is defined as an unbroken period of time that a patient spends as an inpatient or day-case. During a stay a patient may have numerous episodes as they change consultant, significant facility, speciality and/or hospital. Stays are counted at the point of discharge, when all diagnostic information regarding the full stay is available. However, the demographic information ( NHS Board) is taken from the first episode of the stay, thus most closely corresponding to the circumstances of the patient at the point of entering the hospital.

2. These figures were provided by Police Scotland and should be treated as management information only.

3. Note that in the post- CoP period, 67% of all alcohol seizures involving people under 18 involved Section 61 confiscations, while the remaining 33% involved the use of Local Authority Byelaws. In addition, 10% of alcohol seizures for the 18-25 age group involved the use of Section 61 under suspicion of supplying alcohol to those aged under 18, while the remaining 90% used Local Authority Byelaws. For those aged over 25, 99% of seizures occurred under Local Authority Byelaws and 1% under Section 61 suspicion of supplying under 18s. This information was not recorded prior to the introduction of the CoP.


5. The CoP does not apply to searches of vehicles, vessels or premises that do not also involve the search of a person.

6. It is not possible to determine how much of the change in rate of seizure for young people is due to a reduction in the use of Section 61 as opposed to a reduction in the use of Local Authority Byelaws as that information was not recorded on the Stop and Search Database prior to the introduction of the CoP.

7. Note that when regression analysis is conducted, it is essential to have a reference category against whom the other groups are compared (these are noted below). The choice of reference category does not skew the results of the analysis although it has implications for how the data should be interpreted.


Back to top