I find the media response to the revelation of police stop and search figures disturbing.
The principle reason for there being higher stop and search figures in Scotland than in the Metropolitan Police area is quite simply because there is a greater need for such police tactics, and also there is less political control of the police north of the Border than in London – so far.
To claim an abuse of human rights is unfair, given ordinary citizens of Scotland also have human rights in that it should be possible to walk the streets of our towns and cities at any time of day or night without being subjected to the knife menace which remains prevalent in so many urban areas.
It does not take a genius to calculate that any occasion when a stop and search discovers an illicit weapon, a bad person is brought to justice and, more importantly, one or more lives could be saved.
Comparing that information with the minor inconvenience of a cursory body search, I feel public opinion is more likely to prefer the first option. Personally, I have nothing to hide and thus have no objection to being stopped and searched at any time.
There is an irony in that one faction criticises the police for indiscriminate stop and search, while another claims certain ethnic groups are targeted due to a reputation for carrying weapons. Surely it cannot be the case that both apply.
Stop and search is a legitimate tool given to the police in their fight against violent crime; to date no sensible alternative has been offered, so if it is restricted or removed from the powers of the police, we take another step along the road to anarchy as the thugs take over.