Armed Police Assessments Must Be Published, says Finnie

In response to a Topical Question of the recent Police Scotland announcement about a different model of deployment for Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) operators Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson clearly criticised the existing model as ineffective.

The Scottish Green Party consider the changes to ARV deployment, which mean that armed officers will now attend routine incidents, and the roll-out of more officers armed with TASER are flawed.

Speaking after the statement, John Finnie MSP, Scottish Greens Justice spokesperson, himself a former police officer, said:

“I advised the Cabinet Secretary that Police Scotland sending briefings or meeting with politicians does not constitute consultation on this vital issue.

“We are seeing slow but significant changes in our police service, quite properly being equipped with personal protection equipment, to the roll out of offensive, potentially fatal weaponry like firearms and TASER.

“I am disappointed that my request that the Cabinet Secretary call on Police Scotland to publish the risk assessments they purport underwrite the existing and proposed models of deployment went unanswered.

“What we need is facts not innuendo and spin. There is no legitimate reason why the public should not be given access to assessments which are fundamentally changing our model of policing.

“I will ask the acting Chief Constable to publish both documents.

“The Scottish Green Party also require to know the mechanisms by which the disarming of police officers can take place.

“We want less rather than more weapons in our communities.”