Concern over armed police in South Ayrshire

South Ayrshire councillors are to write to the justice secretary over concerns about arming police officers on routine patrol duty in the area.

At a specially convened meeting of South Ayrshire Council earlier this month the full council debated a motion moved by Maybole councillor, Brian Connolly, and seconded by Girvan and south Carrick councillor Alec Clark.

The motion read: “The council agrees that the decision to carry personal firearms as a matter of routine police duty is a decision that should be reserved for the Scottish Parliament”.

They accepted an addition to the motion from Councillor McDowall, “that the CE is instructed to write to the Justice Secretary”.

The Motion was passed without dissent.

Mr Connolly said: “There is the concern that routinely arming a small number of police in Scotland, 275, would increase the risk for both the public and the unarmed police as the criminal fraternity ‘armed-up’ to match the police.

“Deploying armed police as a matter of routine across the country was a national policy decision made by an Operational Commander. A decision to deploy armed police based on intelligence or experience is an operational decision and is the responsibility of the Area Commander and shouldn’t involve politicians.

“We are quietly proud members of a small and exclusive club that also contains Norway, New Zealand and Ireland.

“We resisted the temptation after the tragedy of Dunblane and Norway resisted the clamour after their recent gun tragedy, this is much too important a decision to be made by any individual and the council agreed that it is a decision that should be debated and decided by the Scottish Parliament.”