Following confirmation that the UK’s terror threat level has been raised to ‘critical’, the FM chaired a further Resilience Committee meeting in the early hours of this morning which was attended by the Deputy First Minister, the Justice Secretary, the Lord Advocate and senior officers from Police Scotland.
At the meeting, ministers were briefed by Police Scotland about the practical implications for Scotland of the heightened security status.
At the meeting, minsters were updated on the latest situation in Scotland: Six people have been treated at hospitals in Scotland; four have been discharged and two are still being treated in hospital. None of the their injuries are life threatening and NHS Scotland will work with other agencies to support those who have been affected by this incident.
Police Scotland are continuing to provide support to the families of two girls from Barra, Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod, who were caught up in the attack.
Police Scotland have also stepped up security in locations such as transport hubs and city centres as a precaution and are reviewing arrangements for upcoming public events. There is no intelligence of an increased risk to Scotland.
Young Scot have produced online guidance and Education Scotland and local authorities are in contact with head teachers to provide information and support to young people and their families who may have been affected by the attack
The First Minister said: “While raising the UK terror threat level to ‘critical’ has been judged a necessary response to the despicable attack in Manchester, we must not allow terrorism to triumph.
“I urge the people of Scotland to be vigilant but not alarmed and, as far as possible, to go about their business as usual.
“Police Scotland have already visibly increased their presence in locations such as transport hubs and city centres as a precaution. Security arrangements for upcoming public events, including this weekend’s Scottish Cup Final, are being thoroughly reviewed and the public should anticipate additional safety measures such as full body and bag searches.
“Our emergency services prepare extensively for situations such as this, and those well-rehearsed plans are now being put into practice.”
The First Minister continued: “Anyone who was in Manchester and witnessed the terror attack or its immediate aftermath will undoubtedly be feeling stressed or upset. Anyone with concerns about themselves or their children should contact their GP for support or NHS 24 if their GP surgery is closed.”
She added: “Scotland stands together, in solidarity, with the people of Manchester - we will not be divided by those who seek to destroy our way of life.”
Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “My thoughts and those of everyone at Police Scotland continue to be with those who have lost loved ones or who were injured in the attack in Manchester.
“With the threat level now at critical, we have now established a multi-agency co-ordination centre to lead and co-ordinate the response across the country along with key partners.
“Police Scotland will be increasing our operations to protect the people of Scotland, our businesses and public places.
“This may include a range of options aimed at increasing security at these sites, reassuring residents, businesses, workers and visitors so they can go about their daily lives as normally as possible.
“Yesterday morning, we increased the number of armed police on patrol at key locations and the public should expect to see armed officers on foot patrol.
“We are reviewing all significant events along with event organisers taking place within the next 14 days and will increase the security footprint around those events where it is deemed appropriate.
“We have well-rehearsed plans to respond to major incidents and we will be continuing to work with our partners to address the current heightened threat.”
He added: “However, there is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland but I would ask the public to remain alert and report anything suspicious.”
There is an emergency number for anyone concerned about loved ones. It is: 0800 096 0095.
Young Scot also have online guidance and a free infoline for young people contact 0808 801 0338.