The use of Police Scotland’s stop and search tactic has increased by more than 470% in one year in areas of Courier Country.
Almost 10,000 people were stopped and searched by officers in Fife in 2013-14, an increase of 471%, while Angus recorded a rise of 288%, from 955 to 3,710 searches.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has branded the figures a “real cause for concern”, and repeated his call for changes to the rules governing the use of the policy.
Perth and Kinross’s total increased by 209% to 6,833 and Dundee’s rose by 82% to 12,420. Two of the people stopped and searched in Dundee were nine years old or younger.
The figures were included in Police Scotland’s management information council area report for 2013-14.
Mr Rennie said Scots were seven times more likely than those in England and Wales to be stopped and searched.
He said: “Properly regulated, stop and search can be an effective tool in detecting crime and making Scotland’s streets safer.
“But since the creation of the single police service we have seen huge increases in the use of the tactic across Scotland, with most searches not based on any evidence or suspicion of wrongdoing.
“In Fife alone we have seen an increase of more than 470% in just 12 months. This is a real cause for concern and the case for looking again at the laws governing the use of this tactic is overwhelming.
Mr Rennie’s party has called for changes to the current law governing the use of stop and search.
Last month changes were made that would ensure that children under 12 are no longer stopped and searched on a voluntary basis.