Police Scotland says violent protesters will be dealt with ‘swiftly and robustly’

Police Scotland has warned that violent protesters and those causing damage will be dealt with ‘swiftly and robustly’.

Around 10,000 officers will be deployed each day during COP26.

Police Scotland is preparing to carry out one of the largest policing operations in the UK, when Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit in November.

Around 10,000 officers will be deployed each day during the summit, which takes place between October 31 and November 13.

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What will be the response to COP26 protests

A number of protests have already been announced for COP26, and Police Scotland says it’s policing style will be ‘friendly, fair and accommodating’ for those wanting to take part.

However, it has warned that those who plan on being violent, causing damage or blocking the roads, could face a different response.

Deputy chief constable Will Kerr said: “We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protests and have been engaging with known protest groups for some time to ensure their rights to peaceful assembly and protest are met.

“Those wishing to protest have a responsibility to do so within the law and I would remind the small minority of people who may be intent on violent disorder or causing damage that we will deal with them swiftly and robustly.

“The policing of protests is a particularly difficult balancing act when they are non-violent and peaceful but highly disruptive or unlawful. “People at protests sometimes break the law in a number of ways that aren’t linked to violence or disorder, such as blocking roads.

“Some disruption is inevitable during the event, if someone is causing significant disruption by wilfully obstructing a main traffic route then officers may move through the various stages of our graduated response more quickly than they would during instances which are causing minimum disruption.”

What about other policing in Glasgow during COP26?

DCC Kerr said that while COP26 will place ‘considerable demands’ on policing, communities can expect the ‘same high standard of service’.

He said: “A considerable part of our planning for COP26 has been to ensure that the communities of Scotland continue to receive the same high standard of service from policing that they have come to expect.

“Policing, so often the service of first and last resort, will never step away from people in crisis.

“There are pressures which exist across many other services, agencies and sectors, and when the health service, local authorities and other key partners come under significant strain, demand is diverted to policing.

“However, Police Scotland prioritises emergency 999 calls and these are answered within less than 10 seconds, on average. Our non-emergency response times continue to be affected by high demand.

“While an event the size of COP26 places considerable demands on policing, we already have contingencies in place and are taking steps to boost those over the coming weeks.

“Although there is potential for further disruption should pressure on other agencies and services persist and become more acute, particularly as the country prepares for COP26, I can reassure the public that if they need an emergency response from us they will get it.”