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

Findings of a quantitative study which evaluates change in the use of police searches and alcohol seizures in the twelve months before and after the introduction of the Code of Practice.

5. Change in the use of Section 60 authorisations

During the deliberations of the IAGSS as it developed the CoP, concern was expressed that after phasing out consensual search there may be an increase in the use of so-called 'no suspicion' searches by Police Scotland under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. This concern was mainly founded on the basis of extensive use of Section 60 authorisations in England and Wales, resulting in Home Office criticism and intervention (HMIC 2016).

Data provided by the National Stop and Search Unit showed there were three authorisations under Section 60 since the implementation of the CoP. The first was for the Scotland versus England World Cup qualification football match at Hampden Park in Glasgow on 10th June 2017; although, no section 60 searches were recorded for this event. Two further Section 60 authorisations were made in relation to Scottish Premier Football League matches in Edinburgh involving Hearts FC v Hibernian FC on 9th May 2018 and Hibernian FC v Rangers FC on 13th May 2018. No searches were recorded during the Hearts v Hibernian match, while two searches were conducted at the Hibernian v Rangers game. The searches involved young people under the age of 18 and were conducted on grounds of public order, but neither resulted in a positive detection.

The limited use of Section 60 authorisations provides strong evidence that there has been no increase in the use of this power as a way of creating wider opportunities for search under the CoP. This contrasts substantially with evidence about policing practice in England and Wales (HMIC 2016).



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