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Minister doesn’t rule out changes to police firearms deployment model

May 7, 2019 7:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today questioned whether the SPA and Police Scotland will revisit the policy of firearms officers keeping guns in the boot of their armed response vehicles.

This followed his questioning of Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, on new statistics which reveal armed police attended 5,000 routine incidents in the last year. The Minister said that matters are being kept under review.

Afterwards, Liam McArthur commented:

"With ongoing threats including terrorism, nobody is suggesting Police Scotland shouldn't be capable of responding quickly to such situations. But officers and the public they serve are rightly proud of the ability of the police to do their jobs day in day out without carrying guns.

"The previous model adopted by the majority of legacy forces saw firearms officers storing their weapons in the boot of their armed response vehicles. It was discarded with very little thought when Police Scotland was first established. It was done so quietly that the SPA didn't even realise it had happened.

"When police chiefs reflect on how the current policy is operating later this month I hope that they will reconsider whether discarding this model so quickly was the right thing to do."