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Armed police policy isn't working for communities

May 13, 2015 12:43 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that Police Scotland's armed policing policy isn't working for the police or the communities that they serve.

It comes after a national newspaper today published a photograph of two armed officers entering a Waitrose in Stirling at 9am on a weekday morning.

This was despite assurances from the Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins that police were expected to use their professional judgement but that he would not expect to see officers in a busy shop in the afternoon.

Ms McInnes said:

"Police Scotland's policy on armed police isn't working for the police or the communities that they serve.

"There is a great deal of public confusion after the Chief Constable said such officers would only attend incidents where there was a threat to a life. I can understand why people are concerned over armed officers being in supermarkets on a Monday morning to buy their lunch.

"The policy where armed officers can use their professional judgement opens up 101 different scenarios where overtly carrying a sidearm may or may not be appropriate. It isn't fair on officers or on communities.

"We need a full explanation from Police Scotland as to why this happened and what will be done to prevent it in future.

"People in Scotland have long supported the liberal model of policing by consent. It is clear that many do not want to see a society where armed officers walk the streets for no particular purpose."