Have your say on armed police urges MP

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Sir Robert Smith, MP and North East MSP Alison McInnes, have urged members of the public to take part in a survey on the controversial use of armed police.

In the North East, firearms were previously locked in police cars and only accessed by trained officers when required.

Following the creation of Police Scotland these officers now carry guns at all times and have even been spotted attending routine incidents and patrolling in pubs, supermarkets and on our high streets.

The Scottish Police Authority is now reviewing this policy and seeking the views of the public on this change.

Sir Robert said: “I have heard from a number of constituents who have raised concerns about armed police officers in Scotland patrolling our streets and undertaking routine duties. As well as concerns about the safety implications of this policy, questions have also been raised about how the decision to arm officers was made and the lack of public debate around this issue.

Alison McInnes, Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson added: “The SNP promised us that the new national force wouldn’t impose sweeping changes upon our communities from a distant HQ.

“But that is exactly what has happened and to make it worse members of the public, MSPs and local councillors were not made aware of this policy for months.

Consultation ends October 17. See www.spa.police.uk/performancepages/247613/