Stop and Search Data June 2015 onwards

As part of Police Scotland’s Stop and Search Improvement Plan, an enhanced national database was rolled out across Scotland on 1 June 2015 together with changes to operational practice and recording procedures. Further changes to recording of search activity have been in accordance with the Code of Practice on the Exercise of Powers of Search by Constables in Scotland, which came into effect on 11th May 2017

The enhanced database includes additional validations designed to improve the quality of the data by preventing inaccurate data capture through input error. Changes to operational practice also mean stop and search activity is now recorded differently to before. For example seizures are now recorded separately where previously they were recorded as positive searches even though no physical search had taken place. 

Information since 1st June 2015 regarding stop and search activity is provided as a management information report and is published below. 

Please note that it is not possible to draw accurate conclusions between the data recorded from 1 June 2015 with previous data. New guidance on operational practice together with defined business rules for what should be recorded mean that any comparisons between the data would not be like for like.

2019 - 2020

April 2019 - March 2020 April 2019 - December 2019 April 2019 - June 2019

2018 - 2019

April 2018 - March 2019 October 2018 - December 2018 April 2018 - September 2018 
April 2018 - June 2018

Previous Years

2017 - 2018

April 2017 - March 2018

2016 - 2017

April 2016 - March 2017

2015 - 2016

June 2015 - March 2016

Additional Information

A review of published stop and search information in March 2017 has led to data files from 2015-16 being updated. The update took place on 31/03/17 and reflects the realignment of Police Scotland Command area boundaries. During 2016, a number of command areas merged within A, E, G and Q divisions, consequently there are fewer area commands, but with a greater volume of data.

A number of area commands in N and P divisions were re-named, although their boundaries and data remained the same.

The new area commands are now presented in the published data, resulting in comparable data from June 2015 until present. The multiple files of June-July, June-August, June-September, June-December and June-March have been are replaced with just one file, 1st June 15 - 31st March 16, with all the data from previous files contained therein.

A list of area command changes has been published with these changes for reference.

Furthermore, the ongoing improvement work on stop and search has informed learning around proportionate approaches to collating, auditing and publishing related information. As a result, it was found that publishing the overall number of disposals from stop and search encounters adequately demonstrates the wider outcomes of stop and search and maintains open and transparent reporting. Police Scotland removed disposals from published individual stop and search encounters in April 2017 and continue to publish the overall number of each disposal in the Management Information: National Stop and Search Database: Quarterly Report.

Stop and Search 2015 Ethnic Group table