Police Scotland chief Stephen House's robust responses to the Scottish Parliament's sub-committee on policing may not have fully calmed the row over stop and search figures.

The admission that outcome data for 20,000 stop and search records was lost due to a computer programmer pressing the wrong button last year is not calculated to engender confidence. Mr House was also given a rough ride by the committee over the many changes to figures, and the question of the extent to which frontline officers feel they must meet targets.

However on the central point, the issue of 'consensual' searches of young people, his answer was clear. There is a policy that such searches should no longer take place, he said, but sometimes they do. When police officers carry out such searches, they are breaching this policy, but not the law.

In some cases, such searches will be necessary, for the protection of the community, or sometimes in the interests of the young person themselves. But on every occasion the officer responsible is called upon to explain why they felt it necessary.

That seems clear and while some object in principle to any search of a young person, most members of the public would accept Mr House's position.

Reaching this point has been a troubled process. It is vital that Police Scotland is subject to proper scrutiny and the fiasco over the figures on stop and search has shown that to be problematic.

The current oversight of Police Scotland is far more robust and transparent than the previous local police boards. Holyrood's Justice Committee, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Scottish Police Authority are among the bodies which have a role to play in overseeing how the Police does its job.

Local police boards were often ineffective, but had the advantage that the public knew when and where they took place. But Mr House's ordeal was televised, as are SPA meetings, making them far more open.

In many ways, the issue of stop and search is a distraction. The confusion over what is or isn't counted as a stop and search and the terrible muddle over figures has made this appear more of an issue than it is.

There are other significant issues affecting Police Scotland which are more deserving of scrutiny by the bodies which monitor the organisation.

These issues include the millions of pounds in the organisation's budget dependent upon expectations which have not been fulfilled of the assets seized under proceeds of crime rules. They include the closure and centralisation of 999 call centres.

However uncomfortable for him, Mr House should be prepared to face criticism and concerns about the force and explain the position, as he has done in this case. He has partly become the story because of a perceived unwillingness to address or concede public concerns in the past.

However those monitoring Police Scotland have a responsibility too. Scrutiny should be focused on the issues that really matter, not geared to generating controversy for its own sake.