Information

Stop and Search code of practice: twelve month review - qualitative report

Findings of a qualitative study which examined evidence on how effectively the Code of Practice was operating since its introduction in May 2017.


Appendix: Discussion guides

Police officers' discussion guide

1. INTRODUCTION

  • Thanks for taking part
  • Introduce self and Ipsos MORI
  • Introduce the research (on behalf of Scottish Government, role of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG), work to date by the IAG, the 12 month review of the stop and search guidelines, including quantitative review, qualitative portion comprises interviews with officers, supervisors, NSSU and young people, analysis and reporting winter 2018)
  • Explain to officers why they have been asked to discuss stop and search –exploring perceptions of how the Code is working in practice, identifying if there any areas for improvement and if further support is required to use of stop and search effectively
  • Duration of interview/group
  • Confidentiality – won't use any names in reports or refer to location if quote professionals directly
  • Recording – for Ipsos MORI use only, will be securely stored and deleted after project. Check consent to record?
  • Ground rules – one at a time for recorder; moderator role – ensure cover everything and everyone gets chance to have a say.
  • Any questions?

Could we just start with a quick introduction – if we go around the group and everyone just says their name and how long they've been a police officer?

2. VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES OF STOP AND SEARCH

Thanks. We will get into the specifics of the procedure a little later on, but first I'd like to ask you a bit about your experiences of conducting stop and search more generally. Unless otherwise specified, please answer in relation to period since the introduction of the Code of Practice.

Overall, what are your views of stop and search as a tool to prevent and deter crime?

Overall, what are your views of stop and search as a tool to detect and solve crime?

And have your views on this changed at all since the introduction of the Code of Practice? In what way?

  • If not mentioned: as a tool to prevent crime
  • As a tool to detect crime?

How often would you say you conduct stop and search?

  • Patterns by time of year/events
  • Patterns in age/demographics of those stopped
  • Any change since introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • If so, was the change due to the Code of Practice or other factors? What other factors?
  • Do they think it is used enough / not enough / too much?

In which situations/circumstances would you normally use stop and search?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • In which situations/circumstances is it most effective?
  • In which situations/circumstances is it less effective?

What are the main challenges in carrying out stop and search?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?

Has the way you use stop and search changed in any other way since the introduction of the Code of Practice? In what way?

Are you aware of any differences between the way officers in your division and other divisions use stop and search?

What are your views on the training you have received in the use of the new Code of Practice?

  • Formal/informal?
  • Helpful/unhelpful?
  • Any other guidance provided?

What further training, if any, do you think is required?

3. THE STOP AND SEARCH PROCEDURE

We're now going to talk about the actual procedure of stop and search in a little more detail. Again, please think about those conducted in the last 12 months.

How do you decide whether to approach an individual for stop and search?

  • What factors do you take into account?
  • Has this changed in any way since the introduction of the guidelines?
  • IF NOT MENTIONED: The legal test for most stop and search is that a constable has 'reasonable grounds for suspicion' that the person has committed, or is committing, or is about to commit, a particular crime or is in possession of a prohibited article. What, in your view, constitutes reasonable grounds for suspicion? Can you give me an example?
  • How clear is the Code of Practice on what are 'reasonable' grounds for suspicion?

How do you initially approach individuals?

  • Do you always engage with individuals prior to deciding to search? How do you find this (e.g. challenging, unnecessary, easy)?
  • What do you say to them?
  • How does this differ between different groups (e.g. young people, vulnerable groups)?
  • Has this changed in any way since the introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • What are the challenges?

Once you have determined that there are grounds for a search, what happens next? Could you talk me through the key stages?

  • What information is provided to the individual?
  • Where does the search take place?
  • In which situations would a strip search be necessary? How is this authorised?

PROBE FOR ALL: Has this changed? What are the challenges? Is the Code of Practice clear?

What information is collected from the individual?

  • How do you go about recording ethnicity? Have you ever recorded it as not provided/unknown? In what circumstances might you do that?
  • Has this changed?
  • What are the challenges?
  • Is the Code of Practice clear?

How often do you make a record of a stop and search?

  • What sort of situations if any, is this not possible?

And how often do you issue a receipt after a stop and search?

  • Does this vary according to the circumstances of the search?
  • Are there any situations where it is not possible to issue a receipt?
  • How often do people take the receipt and listen to the explanation about their right to examine their record?

Do you always record searches on the stop and search database?

  • How easy and convenient do you find it to use the database?
  • Are there any problems with recording searches and using the database?

How do you feel about carrying out stop and search among vulnerable individuals? (If necessary, vulnerable groups include those with alcohol and substance addition problems, mental health conditions, learning difficulties etc.)

  • How often does this happen?
  • Are there any differences when it comes to carrying out stop and search with different groups?
  • What are the challenges?
  • Do you feel the guidelines are clear on this? Are there any areas at all you feel are unclear?

Have you ever encountered any situations which the Code of Practice did not cover?

  • What do you do when faced with these situations?
  • What guidance is provided on what to do in these situations?
  • Where else would you look for guidance if required?
  • Who could you ask for guidance if required?

Have you ever carried out a search that fell outside of the Code of Practice?

  • Can you talk me through what happened?
  • How did you reach the decision to carry out that search?
  • How did you feel about the course of action that you took?
  • If faced with the same situation again, is there anything you would do differently?
  • Do you feel the guidance on what to do in these situations is clear?

What, if anything, have you changed about what you do during the procedure since the Code of Practice was introduced?

PROBE: What has changed? Has anything about the procedure improved? Got worse?

4. OUTCOMES

In your experience, how often does stop and search lead to a positive outcome - in other words the recovery of an item?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • In what way has it changed?
  • What do you think are the reasons for this?

What is your experience of dealing with negative outcomes (if required: non-detection of an item)?

  • Does this present any particular challenges?
  • Can a "negative" search result in any other outcomes? Can anything good come out of these searches?

Thinking more widely about the longer-term impacts of carrying out stop and searches, would you say it affects your relationship with individuals/communities?

  • In what way(s)?
  • Has this changed at all since the introduction of the Code of Practice?

5. YOUNG PEOPLE

Now I'd like to talk a little bit about the use of Stop and Search among young people (under 18) specifically.

How often do you tend to engage with young people? [IF COVERED EARLIER REFER BACK]

  • Would you say this has changed at all since the introduction of the CoP?

What issues, if any, do you face when engaging with young people?

How do you feel about carrying out searches of young people?

  • In what situations would result in a search of the young person?
  • Any particular/specific challenges?
  • Are there any factors in your decision-making that differ from searches with adults?

In your experience, how often would you say positive searches of young people are made? Is it higher or lower than for searches generally or about the same?

Has the rate of positive outcomes changed since the Code of Practice was introduced?

  • What do you think are the reasons for this?

Do you feel the guidelines in the Code of Practice on engaging with young people are clear? Is there anything at all that is not clear?

What happens when you suspect a young person of having alcohol? Can you talk me the process you tend to follow?

  • What factors do you take into account in deciding what approach to take?
  • In what circumstances would alcohol be seized?
  • If a seizure is not made, are any other courses of action taken?
  • In what circumstances would an arrest be made?
  • Do you feel the current guidance on young people and alcohol is clear?
  • Is there anything that is not clear?

In what ways, if any, would you like to see powers relating to stopping and searching young people changed? IF YES: How? For what reasons do you say that?

6. POTENTIAL GAPS IN LEGISLATION

Are there any situations/circumstances where you feel you should be able to conduct a stop and search but you are currently not able to?

Are there any situations when it is unclear which legislation should be used?

IF NOT SPONTANEOUSLY RAISED

What about the need to conduct a stop and search in order to protect life?

What about searching for weapons in a non-public location, such as a flat or vehicle?

What about searching for pyrotechnics and flares?

PROBE FOR EACH ISSUE THAT IS RAISED: Have you ever been in that situation? What are the challenges in that situation? Do you think a specific legislative power is required? What would be the advantages/disadvantages?

7. CLOSE

Thanks.

That's all the questions I wanted to ask you today. Before we finish off, is there anything else you would like to say or ask that we haven't covered?

THANK AND CLOSE

Police supervisors' discussion guide

1. INTRODUCTION

  • Thanks for taking part
  • Introduce self and Ipsos MORI
  • Introduce the research (on behalf of Scottish Government, role of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG), work to date by the IAG, the 12 month review of the new legislation around stop and search and the Code of Practice, including quantitative review, qual comprises interviews with officers, supervisors, NSSU, practitioners and young people, analysis and reporting winter 2018)
  • Duration of interview/group
  • Confidentiality – won't use any names in reports or refer to location if quote professionals directly
  • Recording – for Ipsos MORI use only, will be securely stored and deleted after project. Check consent to record?
  • Ground rules – one at a time for recorder; moderator role – ensure cover everything and everyone gets chance to have a say.
  • Any questions?

Could we just start with a quick introduction – if we go around the group and everyone just says their name and how long they've been a supervisor?

2. ROLE OF SUPERVISORS

Thanks. First I'd like to ask you a bit about your current role, both generally and specifically in relation to Stop and Search.

Can you describe what the role of a police supervisor is?

  • What are your main duties and responsibilities?
  • How is the role of supervisor distinct from that of an officer?
  • How many people do you supervise?
  • What areas do you cover?

In relation to stop and search specifically, what does your role involve?

  • What are your main duties and responsibilities in relation to stop and search?

3. GENERAL VIEWS OF STOP AND SEARCH

Moving on, I'd like to ask you a bit about your general views about stop and search. Unless otherwise specified, please answer in relation to the last 12 months.

Overall, what are your views of stop and search as a tool to prevent and deter crime?

Overall, what are your views of stop and search as a tool to detect and solve crime?

And have your views on this changed at all since the introduction of the Code of Practice? In what way?

  • If not mentioned: as a tool to prevent crime
  • As a tool to detect crime?

What feedback, if any, have you had from your team about stop and search in general?

  • What has changed for the better since the introduction of the Code?
  • What difficulties have they faced?
  • Has there been any complaints from your team?

How often would you say stop and search is carried out in your area?

  • Patterns by time of year/events
  • Patterns in age/demographics of those stopped
  • Do you think it is used enough / not enough / too much?
  • Any change since introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • If so, was the change due to the Code of Practice or other factors? What other factors?

In which situations/circumstances would you expect stop and search to be used?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • In which situations/circumstances is it most effective?
  • In which situations/circumstances is it less effective?

What are the main challenges in carrying out stop and search?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?

Have you seen any other difference in the way stop and search is used since the introduction of the Code of Practice? What happened before? What happens now?

Are you aware of any current differences between the way your division and other divisions use stop and search?

What are your views on the training you have received in the use of the new Code of Practice?

  • Formal/informal?
  • Helpful/unhelpful?
  • Any other guidance provided?

What feedback, if any, have you received from your team about the stop and search training?

What further training, if any, do you think is required?

4. THE STOP AND SEARCH PROCEDURE

We're now going to talk about the actual procedure of stop and search in a little more detail any changes you may have seen over the last 12 months.

What, if anything, has changed about the stop and search procedure following the introduction of the Code of Practice?

What, if anything, has improved?

  • What impact has this had?
  • On officers?
  • On those stopped and searched?
  • On the public?

What issues, if any, remain?

  • Decision to stop and decision to conduct a search?
  • Definition of reasonable suspicion?
  • Grounds for search and the loss of non-statutory search?
  • Engagement with the individual? – especially young people
  • Information provided in advance of the search?
  • The search itself?
  • Collection of information about the individual?
  • Recording stop and searches
  • Issuing of receipts?
  • Recording the search and using the S&S database?
  • Seizing alcohol from young people?

IF NOT COVERED There appears to be a high level of not provided/unknown responses to ethnic status in the data than you would expect, what are your impressions of why this is the case?

And thinking specifically about search with vulnerable individuals, how well do you feel the procedure works? (If necessary, vulnerable groups include those with alcohol and substance addition problems, mental health conditions, learning difficulties etc.)

  • How often does this happen?
  • Are there any differences in procedure when it comes to carrying out stop and search with different groups?
  • What are the challenges?
  • Do you feel the guidelines are clear on this? Are there any areas at all you feel are unclear?

Have you or your team encountered any situations which the Code of Practice did not cover?

  • What tends to happen in these situations?
  • What guidance is provided to officers on what to do in these situations?
  • Where else would you look for guidance if required?
  • Who could you ask for guidance if required?

What has been your experience of stop and searches that did not comply with the Code of Practice?

  • What happened?
  • How were the searches justified?
  • What was learnt from that experience?
  • Is guidance on what to do in these situations clear?
  • What is the impact of feedback from NSSU on officers?
  • What policies and practices are in place for situations where officers are using stop and search incorrectly?
  • How often have you had to talk to someone in your team about using this power in an inappropriate manner?

5. OUTCOMES

In your experience, how often does stop and search lead to a positive outcome - in other words the recovery of an item?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • In what way has it changed?
  • What do you think are the reasons for this?

What is your experience of dealing with negative outcomes (if necessary: non-detection of items)?

  • Does this present any particular challenges?
  • Can a "negative" search result in any other outcomes? Can anything good come out of these searches?

Thinking more widely about the longer-term impacts of carrying out Stop and Searches, would you say it affects relationships with individuals/communities?

  • In what way(s)?
  • Has this changed at all since the introduction of the Code of Practice?

6. YOUNG PEOPLE

Now I'd like to talk a little bit about the use of Stop and Search among young people (under 18) specifically.

How often does your team tend to engage with young people? [IF COVERED EARLIER REFER BACK]

  • Would you say this has changed at all since the introduction of the CoP?

What, if any, issues do they face when engaging with young people?

What feedback have you received from your team about carrying out searches of young people?

  • In what situations would result in a search of the young person?
  • Any particular/specific challenges?
  • Are there any factors in your decision-making that differ from searches with adults?

In your experience, how often would you say positive searches of young people are made? Is it higher or lower than for searches generally or about the same?

Has the rate of positive outcomes changed since the Code of Practice was introduced?

  • What do you think are the reasons for this?

Do you feel the guidelines in the Code of Practice on engaging young people are clear? Is there anything at all that is not clear?

What happens when an officer suspects a young person has alcohol? What process would you expect them to follow?

  • What factors are taken into account in deciding what approach to take?
  • In what circumstances would alcohol be seized?
  • In what circumstances would an arrest be made?
  • If neither a seizure nor an arrest is made, are any other courses of action taken?
  • Do you feel the current guidance on young people and alcohol is clear?
  • Is there anything that is not clear?

In what ways, if any, would you like to see powers relating to stopping and searching young people changed? IF YES: How? For what reasons do you say that?

7. POTENTIAL GAPS IN LEGISLATION

Are there any situations/circumstances where you feel your officers should be able to conduct a stop and search but you are currently not able to?

Are there any situations when it is unclear which legislation should be used?

IF NOT SPONTANEOUSLY RAISED

What about the need to conduct a stop and search in order to protect life?

What about searching for weapons in a non-public location, such as a flat or vehicle?

What about searching for pyrotechnics and flares?

PROBE FOR EACH ISSUE THAT IS RAISED: Has someone in your team been in that situation? What are the challenges in that situation? Do you think a specific legislative power is required? What would be the advantages/disadvantages?

8. CLOSE

Thanks.

That's all the questions I wanted to ask you today. Before we finish off, is there anything else you would like to say or ask that we haven't covered?

THANK AND CLOSE

NSSU discussion guide

1. INTRODUCTION

  • Thanks for taking part
  • Introduce self and Ipsos MORI
  • Introduce the research (on behalf of Scottish Government, role of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG), work to date by the IAG, the 12 month review of the new legislation around stop and search and the Code of Practice, including quantitative review, qualitative comprises interviews with officers, supervisors, NSSU, practitioners and young people, analysis and reporting winter 2018)
  • Duration of interview/group
  • Confidentiality – won't use any names in reports or refer to location if quote professionals directly. Quotes will be only be attributed to an NSSU representative. However, given the size of the unit it may be difficult to ensure complete anonymity. If there is anything you do not want us to include in the report please let us know.
  • Recording – for Ipsos MORI use only, will be securely stored and deleted after project. Check consent to record?
  • Ground rules – one at a time for recorder; moderator role – ensure cover everything and everyone gets chance to have a say.
  • Any questions?

Could we just start with a quick introduction – if we go around the group and everyone just says their name, rank and how long they've been with the NSSU?

2. VIEWS OF STOP AND SEARCH

What is the role of the NSSU?

How has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?

Overall, what are your views on stop and search as a tool to prevent and deter crime?

  • Is it used enough / not enough / too much?

Overall, what are your views on stop and search as a tool to detect and solve crime?

  • Is it used enough / not enough / too much?

And have your views on this changed at all since the introduction of the Code of Practice? In what way?

  • If not mentioned: as a tool to prevent crime
  • As a tool to detect crime?

In your experience, to what extent have attitudes changed among police officers conducting stop and search?

  • Differences by command area/division?

What feedback, if any, have you had from officers about stop and search in general?

  • What has changed for the better since the introduction of the Code?
  • What difficulties have they faced?
  • Has there been any complaints from officers?

In which situations/circumstances would you expect stop and search to be used?

  • Has this changed since the introduction of the Code of Practice?
  • In which situations/circumstances is it most effective?
  • In which situations circumstances is it less effective?

What have been the main challenges in implementing the stop and search Code of Practice?

Have you seen any other differences in the way stop and search is used since the introduction of the Code of Practice? In what way?

Are you aware of any differences in the way different Command Areas or divisions use stop and search?

What training has been provided in the use of the new Code of Practice?

How was it delivered?

What was the aim of the training provided?

What impact do you think that training had?

What feedback, if any, have you received from officers about the stop and search training?

What further training, if any, do you think is required?

How, if at all, has the introduction of the Code of Practice changed the relationship between officers and the NSSU?

3. STOP AND SEARCH PROCEDURE

What, if anything, has changed about the stop and search procedure following the introduction of the Code of Practice?

What, if anything, has improved?

  • What impact has this had?

What issues, if any, remain?

  • Decision to stop and decision to conduct a search?
  • Definition of reasonable suspicion?
  • Grounds for search and the loss of non-statutory search?
  • Engagement with the individual? – especially young people
  • Information provided in advance of the search?
  • The search itself?
  • Collection of information about the individual?
  • Recording stop and searches
  • Issuing of receipts?
  • Recording the search and using the S&S database?
  • Seizing alcohol from young people?

IF NOT COVERED There appears to be a high level of 'unknown' responses to ethnic status in the data than you would expect, what are your impressions of why this is the case?

Have you encountered any situations which the Code of Practice or the legislation did not cover?

  • What tends to happen in these situations?

What has been your experience of stop and searches that did not comply with the Code of Practice?

  • What happened?
  • How were the searches justified?
  • What was learnt from that experience?
  • Is guidance on what to do in these situations clear?
  • What policies and practices are in place for situations where officers are using stop and search incorrectly?

What challenges have been posed by monitoring and auditing the stop and search database

What have been the challenges in providing feedback to officers?

  • Impact of positive /negative feedback to officers?

4. OUTCOMES

Thinking more widely about the longer-term impacts of carrying out Stop and Searches, would you say it affects relationships with individuals/communities?

  • In what way(s)?
  • Has this changed at all since the introduction of the Code of Practice?

5. POTENTIAL GAPS IN LEGISLATION

Are there any situations/circumstances where you feel the use of stop and search would be appropriate but there is not currently a legislative basis?

Are there any situations when it is unclear which legislation should be used?

IF NOT SPONTANEOUSLY RAISED

What about searching young people for alcohol?

What about the need to conduct a Stop and Search in order to protect life?

What about searching for weapons in a non-public location, such as a flat or vehicle?

What about searching for pyrotechnics and flares?

PROBE FOR EACH ISSUE THAT IS RAISED: What are the challenges in that situation? Do you think a specific legislative power is required? What would be the advantages/disadvantages?

What is the role of the NSSU moving forward?

6. CLOSE

Thanks.

That's all the questions I wanted to ask you today. Before we finish off, is there anything else you would like to say or ask that we haven't covered?

Just as a reminder, is there anything we have discussed that you do not want us to quote or include in the final report?

THANK AND CLOSE

Young people's discussion guide

1. INTRODUCTION

  • Introduce self and Ipsos MORI
  • Introduce the research: The Scottish Government has asked us to carry out research about how the police in Scotland carry out stop and searches. A stop and search is when a police officer carries out a search on a member of the public because they may suspect them of having an illegal or potentially harmful item (e.g. drugs, weapons)

We are asking people like yourself to take part in the research to find out your views and experiences of police stop and searches. Your views are really important because they will allow us to let the Scottish Government know about what people in Scotland think about stop and searches, and how they could be improved in the future.

  • Explain that the interview will last around 20 minutes and at the end we will give participant £20 as a thank you for taking part.
  • Provide reassurances of anonymity, confidentiality and participation: Ipsos MORI is a member of the Market Research Society and we follow their code of conduct. That means that everything you say to me today is confidential and anonymous. Any information that would allow someone to identify you as an individual will NOT be passed on to anyone outside of the Ipsos MORI research team. This means that you cannot be identified in any reports we produce.

And just to confirm, taking part today is completely voluntary. I will be asking you questions about your experiences of dealing with the police but if at any time there is something you would prefer we did not talk about, just let me know any we'll move on to the next question. And if at any time you decide that you do not want to take part in the research any more let me know and we can end the interview.

  • Request permission to record interview and confirm the all identifying information will be held securely, accessible only by the research team, and will be deleted one year after completion of the project.
  • Any questions?
  • Ask participant to read and sign consent form.

2. EXPERIENCE OF STOP AND SEARCH

Can I just check, have you been stopped and searched by the police personally, or have you seen it happen to someone that you know? Or have you experienced both?

How many times have you been/seen someone you know stopped and searched?

  • IF MORE THAN ONCE: When was the last time this happened?

I'd like you to talk me through your last experience of being (or seeing one of your friends be) stopped and searched by a police officer. Just tell me what happened in your own words. Try to tell me as much detail as you remember but don't worry if you forget something - I will be asking some questions as we go along to jog your memory and make sure we've covered everything.

So, thinking about [when/the last time] you [were stopped and searched/witnessed a stop and search], can you tell me what happened – starting from what you were doing before the police approached you?

  • PROBE AS NECESSARY ON EACH STAGE OF THE STOP AND SEARCH

3. CIRCUMSTANCES OF STOP AND SEARCH

When and where did it happen? What time of day?

Who were you with at the time it happened? What doing?

Why do you think the police stopped you/[the person searched]?

How did the police approach you/[the person searched]? Were they in uniform or plain clothes?

How did it make you feel to be approached by the police? How did you react?

  • PROBE: Annoyed/angry; scared; embarrassed; safe/threatened?

4. BEFORE THE SEARCH

What did the police say when they stopped you/[person searched]?

  • Did they have a conversation with you/person being searched and ask you/them questions before conducting the search?
  • Did they clearly tell you/[person searched] that they were going to carry out a stop and search before they did it?
  • Did they say why they were going to carry out the search? Did they say what they were searching for and why they thought you/[person searched] had it on you?

Did they provide any information before they carried out the search – their name, number, name of police station?

Did they say how they were going to carry out the search?

Did they explain why they were legally allowed to search you?

Did they ask for any information about you/[person searched] or say anything about this? What did they say?

  • Do you remember if you/[they] gave any personal information to the police? What did you/[they] say?

Did you understand the information and reasons the police gave for stopping and searching you/[person searched]? Did they ask you if you understood?

Did you/[they] ask any questions before they started the search? What did you/[they] say/ask?

5. DURING THE SEARCH

Where did the police officer carry out the search? Did they ask if you/[person searched] were happy for the search to be carried out there? Could other people see them carry out the search?

Was the police officer male or female?

How did the police office carry out the search on you/[person searched]?

  • What did they do? Where did they search/look?
  • Did they explain to you/[person searched] what they were doing while carrying out the search?
  • Did they ask you/[person searched] to remove any items of clothing (e.g. jacket, hat, shoes/trainers)?

How long did the search take?

How did it make you feel?

How did you feel about the way the police spoke and behaved when carrying out the stop and search? (e.g. how they spoke - tone, politeness, language; physical behaviour; respectful)

6. AFTER THE SEARCH

What happened once they had searched you - did they find anything and take anything from you/[person searched]?

What did they police do/say? Did you understand what they told you?

Did they inform your parents/guardians about the search?

How did you feel after the search?

  • PROBE: Annoyed/angry; scared; embarrassed; safe/threatened?

Did the police record any details of the search on their tablet / notepad? Did they give you/[person searched] a receipt, which included basic details about the search? Did you/they take the receipt? (if not, why not?)

Did they explain to you that you could ask for a copy of the record of the search if you wanted?

  • IF OFFERED: Did you/[they] ask for a copy of the record of the search? Why/why not?

Did the police officer say anything else after they had finished the search?

Before we move on is there anything that happened during the search that we have not talked about and that you'd like to mention?

Overall, how do you feel about how the way in which the police carried out the stop and search?

  • Positives and negatives? Was it justified/fair? Any concerns?

Did your views of the police change after experiencing the stop and search?

  • o IF YES: How did it change your views (more positive/negative)? Why?

Is there anything that the police could do differently when carrying out a stop and search? IF YES: What could they do instead?

  • Changes to who gets stopped?
  • Changes to reasons for stopping?
  • Changes to why stopped (e.g. alcohol, drugs etc)?
  • Police manner/behaviour?
  • Information police provide?

7. ALCOHOL

[IF NOT COVERED] Have the police ever asked you if you have alcohol on you and asked you to hand it over to them?

  • When/where did this happen?
  • Why do you think you were approached?
  • Did you have any alcohol on you?
  • If yes, did you hand over the alcohol to the police?
  • What did the Police do?

Was the procedure the same or different than you've already described? What was different?

Have you had any other contact with the police?

IF YES: Can you tell me a bit more about what happened?

How did it make you feel?

That's all the questions I wanted to ask you today. Before we finish off, is there anything else you would like to say or ask that we haven't covered?

THANK AND CLOSE

Practitioners' discussion guide

1. INTRODUCTION

  • Thanks for taking part
  • Introduce self and Ipsos MORI
  • Introduce the research (on behalf of Scottish Government, role of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG), work to date by the IAG, the 12 month review of the stop and search guidelines, including quantitative review, qualitative portion comprises interviews with police, young people, and practitioners working with young people. Analysis and reporting winter 2018)
  • Duration of interview
  • Confidentiality – won't use any names in reports or refer to location if quote professionals directly.
  • Recording – for Ipsos MORI use only, will be securely stored and deleted after project. Check consent to record?
  • Any questions?

2. BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW OF ROLE

To begin with it would be useful for me to understand a bit more about your organisation, your own role, and the types of people you work with.

Could you tell me a bit about the role of [organisation]?

And what do you do in your current role?

  • How long have you worked here?
  • What location/areas do you cover?

What types of people/young people do you typically work with?

PROBE ON:

  • Those with alcohol or substance use?
  • Those in other vulnerable situations, or considered at risk?
  • Those from ethnic minority backgrounds?

Of those you work with, what sort of contact do they tend to have with the police?

PROBE:

  • What do they tell you about it?
  • What has the nature of that contact been (e.g. arrests, stops, enquires/questioning, anything else?)
  • Particular types of young people that are more likely to have been involved with the police?

3. AWARENESS AND PERCEPTIONS OF STOP AND SEARCH

As I mentioned when we were arranging this interview, the research is looking at the stop and search procedure. I will ask your views on some specific aspects of the procedures, but first I am interested in how much you know about it and your general views of it.

How much do you know about stop and search?

PROBE:

  • How did you become aware of it?
  • What do you know about it?
  • In your own words, could you describe what stop and search aims to do?

Generally, what are your views about stop and search?

PROBE FULLY FOR POSITIVES, NEGATIVES AND REASONS WHY

Based on what you know about it, in what situations/circumstances do you think stop and search works well? Why do you say that?

And in what situations/circumstances do you think stop and search does not work well? Why do you say that?

Based on your experience, do you think the police carry out too much, the right amount or too little stop and search??

PROBE: Why do you say that?

Do you feel the procedure is used in a consistent way?

PROBE:

  • Are there any types of people that are more likely to be searched than others?
  • Or less likely to be searched?
  • Why do you say that?

How much do you know about the procedure police follow if they suspect a young people has alcohol in their possession when they encounter them?

PROBE:

  • Is this the same procedure as that used for stop and search?
  • Is it different in any way?

How well do you think the current procedure for young people and alcohol works?

PROBE FULLY FOR POSITIVES, NEGATIVES AND REASONS WHY

  • What should police officers' main motivation be when they approach young people with alcohol in their possession (e.g. reducing anti-social behaviour, preventing harm)?

4. EXPERIENCE OF STOP AND SEARCH

[THESE QUESTIONS/PROBES MAY HAVE BEEN COVERED IN THE SECTION ABOVE, SO TAILOR THIS IN RESPONSE TO PRECEEDING DISCUSSION]

I know want to focus on any direct experiences you may have heard about from the people you work with

Have any of the individuals you work with experienced stop and search?

PROBE:

  • What sorts of people (e.g. age, ethnicity)?
  • Did they experience this directly, or witness it happening to other people?

Have they discussed the experience with you at all?

PROBE:

  • What did they tell you about it?
  • What were they circumstances/why were they stopped and searched?
  • Do you know what the outcome was?

Did they raise any concerns about the procedure?

PROBE FOR DETAILS

And have any of the individuals you work with been caught with alcohol, or had alcohol seized from them by the police?

PROBE:

  • What sorts of people (e.g. age, ethnicity)?
  • What did they tell you about what happened?
  • In what ways was this different from stop and search?
  • Were they told they would be arrested if they did not give the police their alcohol?
  • Do you know what the outcome was?
  • Did they raise any concerns about what happened?

How would you describe the relationship between the individuals you work with and the police more generally?

  • What other contact do they have?
  • How does stop and search impact on this relationship?

[TAILOR AS NECESSARY DEPENDING ON WHO THEY WORK WITH, AND WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN COVERED ABOVE]:

Thinking about the young people you work with who are in particularly vulnerable situations, have their experiences of stop and search been different to those of others in any way?

PROBE:

  • In what way are these experiences different to those of others?
  • What have they told you about it?
  • What particular issues have these individuals faced?

Thinking about the young people you work with from minority ethnic backgrounds, have their experiences of stop and search been different in any way?

PROBE:

  • In what way are these experiences different to those of others?
  • What have they told you about it?
  • What particular issues have these individuals faced?

Would you say there has been any change in attitudes towards the police regarding stop and search amongst young people in the last year?

5. CODE OF PRACTICE

I now want to ask about the guidelines used by police for stop and search, and any views you may have on that.

What do you know about the guidelines that are used for stop and search?

Were you aware that the police have Code of Practice that sets out the procedure they should follow for stop search?

[IF NOT AWARE AT ALL EXPLAIN: The Code of Practice was introduced in May 20I7, and sets out the principles under which stop and search is undertaken and explains why, when and how stop and search is used]

How important is it for a Code of Practice to be in place?

Based on what you know about it, what are your views generally on the Code of Practice? Generally positive/negative?

How, if at all, do you feel the use of Stop and Search has changed since the code of practice was introduced in May 2017?

PROBE: Any changes to:

  • The number of stop and searches
  • The way the procedure is carried out?
  • Individual's experiences and attitudes towards the procedure?
  • Outcomes from the procedure?

Are there any aspects areas which seem to be missing or that you would like to see more clarity on?

6. FINAL THOUGHTS

Finally, reflecting on everything we have discussed so far, is there anything that you think could be done better in future?

Are there any gaps that should be addressed?

Is there more information needed on any particular aspect?

Is there anything you would like to see clarified?

7. CLOSE

Thank you for your time. That's all the questions I wanted to ask you today.

Before we finish off, is there anything else you would like to say or ask that we haven't covered?

THANK AND CLOSE

Contact

Email: ryan.paterson@gov.scot

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