Proactive approach results in 
increase in stop and searches

PROACTIVE policing in the Scottish Borders has resulted in a huge increase in the number of stop and searches carried out.

A total of 829 stop and searches for drugs were undertaken in the local area between April and December 2012, a third higher than during the same period in 2011.

Despite the increase, the success rate of the searches fell from 11 per cent to nine per cent.

Superintendent Andrew Allan, local area commander, told TheSouthern: “I believe that this is a valuable tool in our kit to prevent and detect crime. It is both a deterrent and a detection method that produces good results for us in terms of powers to stop and search when we suspect drugs, weapons or stolen property.

“We try and focus this on those we know to be active in these crime types, but also include anyone where we have reasonable grounds to suspect the particular offence. I hope to increase the use still further, but to maintain a success rate close to where we are at present.”

The figures were put by Supt Allan to a meeting of the Scottish Borders Council police, fire and rescue and safer communities pathfinder board on Friday.

Supt Allan also revealed that the number of talks given to local young people and communities about the dangers of substance misuse had almost doubled to 209 between April and December 2012, compared with the previous year.

He put this down to the work of the force’s new drug and alcohol awareness officer