2nd Feb 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

More police stop and search won’t stop knife crime here’s why

(MENAFN – The Conversation) Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently pledged to increase the use of police stop and search powers to tackle knife crime. He acknowledged that such tactics cause tension, but that the powers were a ‘vital tool for the police to keep our communities safe.’ But there is for this claim. The government’s own research to suggest that weapon stop and searches reduced crime, supporting the on the of stop and search in general. A police officer must have reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is in possession of a stolen or prohibited item in order to conduct a lawful stop and search. But by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found that an ‘alarming’ 27% of recorded encounters did not include reasonable grounds to search people. Officers rarely face meaningful sanction for failing to meet this relatively low threshold.


A law setting a “gold standard” for domestic abuse legislation by incorporating both emotional and physical violence into the same offence is expected to be passed by the Scottish parliament. The domestic abuse bill, which has cross-party backing, creates a specific offence of “abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner”. This will cover not only physical abuse but other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using the existing criminal law. It is expected to be passed on Thursday.


Elizabeth Bowe, 50, was killed in St Andrews by her brother Charles Gordon in September 2016 soon after calling police for help. The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner said her death could have been prevented if officers had attended earlier. Mr Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrats leader, said his councillors asked for senior police officers to attend a committee to answer questions about the incident, the PIRC report and strategies for dealing with vulnerable people.


WHICHEVER side of the chamber you lend an ear to, too often Holyrood debate takes the form of a partisan round of Top Trumps. You hit me with the Law Society, and I’ll raise you the Equality Network. The Fraser of Allander Institute may be with you, but I’ll bat back with Scottish Women’s Aid. Professor to professor, NGO to NGO, baffling acronym to baffling acronym – in Scotland’s stakeholderocracy, political controversies are resolved by the hack, parry and thrust of blandly listing folk who happen to agree with you. In principle, of course, this need not be objectionable. Expert groups and interest groups are entitled to lobby for their points of view, intervening in Bills and marshalling political coalitions for their ideas. But what’s striking is today’s indispensable authority will always be dropped like a hot brick tomorrow.


What gets crowded out time and time again is the deeper discussion about the issues affecting Scotland today. After 40 years as a social worker and 10 years leading Includem, a charity supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in Scotland, I know there is a need for a little more introspection. For the young people we support there is very little that is black and white in their lives. They are never solely an “offender”, or a looked-after child, or someone excluded from school. The reality is they are full of potential, with all the strengths and dreams we expect for all our children but with a need for support to fulfil them.


Two police officers had to take evasive action after their car was attacked by three men suspected to be linked to a raid at an Aberdeen industrial estate. The police car’s windows were smashed at Glenhome Gardens, where a stolen Mitsubishi Shogun had been found. The men then escaped in a red VW Golf, described as having “significant collision damage”. It followed a break-in to a commercial premises at Denmore Road in the Murcar industrial estate. Police are now appealing for help in tracing the Golf, which was seen being driven erratically on Thursday morning.



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