A high-ranking Police Scotland officer has defended the huge increase in the use of stop and search powers.
Robert "PC" Murdoch, assistant chief constable (local policing, Auchenshoogle), said the tactic had been particularly useful in curbing the activities of a criminal gang led by a youth known as Oor Wullie.
Mr Murdoch said: "Firstly, I must assure members of the public that stop and search is only ever used on an intelligence and analysis-led basis and in an ethical manner. Except for the times we just hide behind some bushes and then jump out and nab Wullie and his pals.
Loading article content
"Our strategy was to keep an eye out for a teenager wearing a suspicious pair of dungarees and in possession of an offensive spiky blond hairstyle."
Police often stopped Wullie to check the contents of a bucket he was carrying. On more than one occasion a quantity of fish was discovered, evidence of a major trout-guddling syndicate operating out of the Powrie Burn.
Searches also uncovered large numbers of apples up the jouks of members of the Wullie gang, well in excess of fruit for personal use, raising suspicions they were part of a ring stealing to order from local orchards.
Police said stop and search was an invaluable tool in making communities safer for the public. Four catapults and two pen-knives had been found during searches. Wullie's cairtie, often used as a getaway vehicle, had been confiscated and crushed.
A drugs charge was dropped after a suspected haul of kenfitamines was revealed after analysis to be a bag of soor plooms.
Wullie has been electronically tagged and subjected to a curfew order. His associate Fat Boab has been put on a low-carb diet and Soapy Soutar warned to have a bath every fortnight whether he needs one or not.
Mr Murdoch, the only assistant chief constable (local policing) still to use a bicycle, said: "There has been concern expressed about our stop and search initiative but this is part of a misguided myth that the criminal in question is Oor Wullie, Your Wullie, A'body's Wullie."
Police are now focusing on the activities of a crime family known as The Broons. Grandpa Broon is thought to be a baccy baron using his bus pass to organise a vast distribution network for illegal pipe tobacco. His grandson Joe provides the muscle but another family member, Horace, is the brains behind the outfit.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.