Armed police to be permanently based at Scottish Parliament

Armed Police are to continue outside The Scottish Parliament as Holyrood and other potential target areas have a heightened Police presence. Picture; SWNS
Armed Police are to continue outside The Scottish Parliament as Holyrood and other potential target areas have a heightened Police presence. Picture; SWNS
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Armed police are to be permanently based at the Scottish Parliament following a security review carried out after the Westminster terror attack.

Police Scotland said the measure was a “proportionate and justified” contingency following more recent attacks in Manchester and London Bridge.

Police Scotland will remain outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Picture; SWNS

Police Scotland will remain outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Picture; SWNS

Officers carrying Tasers were deployed to Holyrood after the Westminster attack on March 22 but security was stepped up to include

officers with guns after the more recent incidents.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “Over the last two-and-a-half months, a review of parliamentary security has been completed and a report has been provided to the Scottish Parliament.

“In support of one of the recommendations contained in the report we have made the operational decision to maintain armed police officer presence at the Scottish Parliament on an ongoing basis. This is an operational contingency to provide protection and reassurance to the public and staff. This will hopefully never be needed but demonstrates our ability to respond to any eventuality.”

Mr Higgins said the decision would be reviewed quarterly.

In a message sent to those working at Holyrood, Paul Grice, chief executive of the parliament, said: “While the advice is that there is no specific threat to the parliament at this time, [Police Scotland’s] clear rationale is to provide an enhanced visible deterrent and ensure the safety of all those who work in and visit Holyrood.

“Overall, the review found the parliament building already has in place a substantial number of effective security features.”

He added: “It also noted the established good practices which are in place in relation to security management at Holyrood.

“However, it is important we continue to work with partners to ensure our security measures remain appropriate.”