Murray calls for opinion on armed police

Following the Scottish Police Authority’s (SPA) issuing of its consultation as part of its Scrutiny Inquiry of Armed Police, Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray is asking constituents to make her aware of their views in order that she can represent these to the SPA in her response.

Evidence is being sought on community impact, consultation and engagement and general views on armed policing.

Elaine Murray said:“Several constituents have expressed concerns to me after seeing armed police attend routine incidents and on occasions shopping in local supermarkets with a firearm on their person. Armed police were not used in Dumfries and Galloway on routine patrols and this change was introduced by the Chief Constable without any discussion in Parliament. The Cabinet Secretary Kenny MacAskill has dismissed the issue as an ‘operational matter for the Chief Constable’.

“Rather late in the day, the Scottish Police Authority have launched a scrutiny enquiry into this issue. They wish to know how the deployment of armed officers to routine incidents has impacted on the public’s feelings of safety and security, fear of crime, level of satisfaction with and confidence and trust in Police Scotland, and their views on the human rights and equalities implications.

“I am keen to include the views of constituents in my response to this enquiry and would ask any constituent wanting to make representations to do so to me by email at elaine.murray.msp:scottish.parliament.uk or by letter to 5 Friars Vennel, Dumfries DG1 2RQ as soon as possible and before Friday 10th October so that I can collate responses. The finding of the enquiry will go to the public meeting of the Scottish Police Authority on 17th December”