Thousands of weapons seized from Holyrood visitors

The 
Scottish Parliament had thousands of weapons seized. Picture; Greg Macvean
The Scottish Parliament had thousands of weapons seized. Picture; Greg Macvean
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More than 6,800 potential weapons have been seized from visitors to the Scottish Parliament since 2014, new figures show.

Holyrood security officers have removed 6,828 items including knives, screwdrivers and scissors during checks.

MSP David Torrance is surprised at how high the figures are

MSP David Torrance is surprised at how high the figures are

The majority of dangerous items seized were knives, with 5,832 blades found, 85% of the total potential weapons, followed by 556 screwdrivers/corkscrews and 440 scissors, according to radio station LBC.

Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance, who was assaulted by a member of the public in 2014 when he was out for a family meal, told LBC he was surprised by the "extremely high" figure, but said he still feels safe in parliament.

He said: "It is surprising that it is so high and for individuals to forget that they've got a pen-knife or a pair of scissors or something like that on them, I would think would be quite few, but when you look at the stats, it's nearly 7,000 potential weapons that have been seized and removed from people and by security. That's extremely high.

"When you see the measures that have been put in place in the Scottish Parliament, you know it has cost a lot of money, but you do feel safe in the building. Visitors feel safe in the building. It's all about being open and friendly and being able to enjoy the atmosphere in Parliament, even if you're a visitor coming to have a tour around it. You can see that security has been put in place and they take it really seriously.

"The security in the parliament is absolutely fantastic. I've even had to take a visitor through by the front entrance, rather than using my pass. They're great. Everything is checked, everybody is checked, so they're doing a great job."

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: "For the safety of all, the parliament does not allow visitors to carry certain sharp objects such as pen-knives or scissors while they are in the building, even if it is perfectly legal to do so in public.

"Our safety first approach is similar to that operated at Scottish and UK airports."