Commission welcomes announcement on armed police

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes Police Scotland’s announcement that armed police officers will now only be deployed to firearms incidents or where there is a threat to life. However, we remain of the view that decisions of this kind are not simply an operational matter for Police Scotland. Changes to police policies and practices that increase the presence of lethal weapons on Scotland’s streets should only happen with appropriate governance, scrutiny and meaningful dialogue with the public. The Commission therefore looks forward to the outcome of the pending inquiries into these issues by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

There are important lessons to be learned from recent events for all concerned with policing in Scotland and we look forward to working with Police Scotland and others, through Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights, to embed better protection of human rights within police structures and culture.