It is hard to imagine any other context in which a tactic with a failure rate of more than 90 per cent would be extended more widely.
That is exactly what is currently being considered under proposals to extend the police power to stop and search children and young people for alcohol.
I have frequently voiced my opposition to non-statutory – so-called "consensual"– stop and search by police officers on children and young people.
Children and young people have been disproportionately targeted by ‘consensual’ stop and search, and, because of the outcry, these types of searches are due to end this year, when a new code of practice comes into force, limiting the police to searches only where they have the legal power to conduct them.
However, a decision has yet to be made by the Scottish Government about whether to create a new statutory power to allow the police to stop and search under-18s for alcohol.
Everyone is agreed that under-age drinking is not to be overlooked or condoned, but searching children and young people for alcohol is a disputed area.
Police Scotland has previously asserted that the loss of non-statutory stop and search will leave a gap in powers to seize alcohol from children and young people.
However, the statistics simply do not prove this hypothesis.
Fewer than one in every 10 of all stop and searches actually results in the finding of alcohol.
And where they do, it has been found through research published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland ( HMICS ) that many of these "searches" were in fact using existing powers of alcohol seizure.
Since then, recording has improved and it is clear that it is the existing power of alcohol seizure, which is key to keeping children and communities safe from the effects of under-age drinking.
My office played a key role in the Stop and Search Advisory Group, chaired by John Scott, QC.
In my consultation response to the Scottish Government, I made it clear that I believe the creation of a new, statutory power is not necessary.
I believe the new proposals for a statutory power to stop and search under-18s for alcohol is a retrograde step that is neither desirable nor proportionate: it would be discriminatory and could lead to more unnecessary searches of children and young people.
In recent months, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child raised concerns about the use of stop and search on children and young people in the UK, recommending that non-statutory searches be stopped and that the use statutory stop and search be proportionate and non-discriminatory.
Any measures put in place to prevent harm need to be balanced carefully against the rights of children and young people to go about their lives without undue interference.
They should be able to meet with friends in the park, for example, without the concern that they will be subject to stop and search on a regular basis.
We need to get the balance right between protecting the public – and the health of children and young people – and the rights of individuals to go about their daily lives without suspicion or fear.
The existing police power of "seizure", which allows the police to remove and dispose of alcohol in the possession of children and young people, is sufficient.
There is no need to add another power.
To do so will run the risk of making legislation which is unnecessary, with a return to the concerns around the disproportionate targeting of children and young people and failing to honour our international duties through the UNCRC.
Source: Herald Scotland, 18th August