Call for Scots police to have alcohol search powers after beach melee
Police officers should be given powers to search young people for alcohol to prevent anti-social behaviour at some large-scale gatherings, it has been claimed. Publishing a review of police stop-and-search powers, a Scottish Government advisory group said there was no need for a general power to search for alcohol. But citing the example of disturbances at Troon beach, the review raised the possibility of legislation to provide for a power of search related to gatherings.
Top officers could be taken to court over phone data scraping
Senior officers face being taken to court if frontline personnel in Scotland are handed devices that can scrape private data from mobile phones. Police Scotland is preparing to deploy “cyberkiosks”, devices the size of an iPad that can quickly scan mobile devices for evidence, after the national force declared they do not breach human rights laws. The Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and other rights groups said they were still not satisfied with the legal advice the force had issued.
Group to consider legal and ethical issues around police use of technology
An independent group will be set up to evaluate how new technology is adopted and used by police in Scotland, it has been announced. The group will examine the potential legal and ethical issues which could arise from the use of emerging technological developments. It follows concerns raised over the rollout of 41 “cyber kiosks” by Police Scotland. The devices are laptop-sized machines that are able to bypass encryption on devices such as mobile phones so personal data can be read quickly. In April, MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing said that the rollout of the technology should be halted until there is greater clarity over the legal framework for their use.
Barrhead MSP welcomes drop in levels of serious violent crime as a ‘sign of progress’
A significant drop in levels of serious violent crime in East Renfrewshire has been welcomed by Barrhead’s MSP. Latest figures show that serious assault and attempted murder cases in East Renfrewshire fell by 63 per cent between 2008/09 and 2017/18. Across Scotland as a whole, such crimes are down by 38 per cent over the same period. Welcoming the statistics, Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur said: “These new figures are encouraging and reflect a significant reduction in violence in our communities – yet more proof that the Scottish Government’s evidence-based approach to justice and rehabilitation is working.