POLICE officers will be following new procedures after stop and search guidelines come into force this week.

But The Code of Practice, which comes into effect at midnight on Thursday, May 11, is already being applied in Ayrshire according to the region’s divisional commander.

Statutory Powers of Search must be applied, which means an officer must suspect a crime is being committed by items being carried illegally.

In addition, the code also provides clear guidance on conducting, recording and monitoring the use of stop and search and places individuals’ rights at the centre of any decision to stop and search a person.

Officers must also issue a receipt to every person searched and any individuals stopped and searched are also entitled to a copy of their stop and search record.

Chief Superintendent Paul Main said: “I welcome the introduction of the Stop and Search Code of Practice and I am confident that officers in Ayrshire will continue to use their powers to keep the people of Ayrshire safe.

“We have in effect been working to the code of practice for some time.

“Violent crime continues to fall in Ayrshire and our focus on tackling the underlying causes which includes and arresting those responsible will continue, using our powers to stop and search the right people.”