Armed police review highlights lack of public accountability

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) have issued their report into the ‘standing firearms authority’ that saw police officers attending routine duties while carrying firearms.

This morning, before the full report was available, John welcomed HMICS’s announcement that their review “states that the impact of hte policy change on public perception was not fully considered by Police Scotland nor has there been a full and informed debate around the deployment of firearms officers to incidents and duties that do not require a firearms response.”

John said:

“As the person who first raised the issue of armed officers attending routine non-firearms incidents I am delighted that the second of the three reviews vindicates my highlighting public concerns.

“Although I haven’t yet seen the full report, I am pleased HMICS confirms that Police Scotland hadn’t ‘fully considered’ the public’s views when they changed their policy.

“I’m pleased too that HMCIS comments on the absence of a ‘full and informed’ debate.

“The recommendation for ‘better communication’ and a clear understanding of ‘operational responsibilities’ are helpful in ensuring we have what we should have had all along – a police service operating with public consent.”

“I am shortly due to give evidence to the third enquiry being held by the Police Authority and I hope that the welcome change by Police Scotland, removing armed officers from attending routine incidents, will see everyone get behind what I hope is a return to community-based policing.”