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Are the effects of societal changes and systems on individual outcomes mediated by social inequalities?

Stop and search reform in Scotland: A study of effectiveness and equity


Stop and search, and its impact on crime and communities is one of the most contentious aspects of policing activity worldwide. In 2015, following a major review, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation to regulate the use of stop and search in Scotland, and introduce a new Code of Practice. In practice, the reform ended the widespread use of non-statutory stop and search and put the tactic on an exclusively statutory basis. While aimed at improving proportionality and fairness, the shift to a legalistic model also prompted concerns that falling rates of stop and search would result in a rise in crime, especially violence. This paper examines the consequences of shifting from a deterrent model to a more legalistic model of stop and search. It does so by examining the effectiveness of stop and search as a measure to prevent crime and the degree to which it is used equally across communities with different levels of crime and deprivation. 

Types of inequalities

Communities, crime, justice, policing

Understanding inequalities in children’s offending and justice journeys

This webinar provides insights into children’s offending behaviour and justice system contact from an inequalities perspective.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 11:00 to 13:00

Worksheets: Crime and Inequality in Scotland

Susan McVie and Isabella Melking

Graphic of  two young people looking at a police car from behind a wall.

The content of these worksheets is based on a data comic that was developed by the Director of the Understanding Inequalities (UI) project, Professor Susan McVie, based at the University of Edinburgh. The worksheets were adapted from the data comic by the UI project Communications and Engagement Officer, Isabella Melking, also based at the University of Edinburgh.

These worksheets have been developed in partnership with the Modern Studies Association and are intended for teachers to use with pupils in class or at home.