John McLellan: Use of armed police shows Police Scotland is stretched

Most police officers do not want to carry guns routinely (Picture: John Devlin)
Most police officers do not want to carry guns routinely (Picture: John Devlin)
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As of this week, Police Scotland’s armed response vehicles will be used for a wider range of roles in which their weapons are not required.

The officers have enhanced medical training which can be vital if they are the first response to road accidents, for example.

It seems like a good use of resources as it would make no sense to have highly trained officers who were prevented from responding to serious incidents simply because they were armed.

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The routine arming of officers is not something the public or, for that matter, most police officers would welcome and it is hardly entering into an arms race with criminal gangs.

However, with 35 fewer officers in the Capital than in 2013 and the council paying to keep numbers up, this looks more like a means of dealing with a manpower problem than the marshalling of extra resources.

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