Calls for guarantee against armed officers at referendum polls

Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Chief Constable of Police Scotland to guarantee that armed officers will not undertake routine duties in or around polling stations on the day of the referendum vote on independence.

In a letter to Chief Constable Stephen House, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes warned that the presence of armed officers around polling stations would threaten to mar the voting process. The call comes as Police Scotland continue to ignore widespread calls to reverse its controversial policy of allowing armed officers to attend routine duties across Scotland whilst overtly carrying guns. 

Ms McInnes said:

“I am seeking a guarantee from the Chief Constable that armed officers from Scotland’s national police force will not be present in or near polling stations on routine duties on the day of the referendum vote.

“People in communities across Scotland have raised concerns about armed police in places such as
nightclubs and supermarkets. I would be appalled if they felt it appropriate to conduct a routine patrol near or within a polling station whilst carrying a sidearm in their holster.

“It would be an error of judgement and one the Chief Constable should proactively seek to prevent.”

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