Armed Police Still Attending Routine Calls In Scotland

Despite decreeing that Armed Response Vehicles would only be used in instances that involved firearms or where there was a genuine risk of life, Police Scotland has been using armed police to attend to routine calls that have included pub brawls and even drink driving incidents. Although it was noted that there had been a massive reduction in the number of incidents where armed police were called, they were still incidents of armed officers attending the scenes of crimes that were not deemed life threatening.

However, critics were arguably more incensed by the fact that senior police officials under the stewardship of Sir Stephen House, had once again had to be cajoled into providing pertinent information when pressed. Sir Stephen has come under increasing pressure in recent months, and had to apologise over the fact that children were being stopped and searched. Although Sir Stephen did receive the official backing of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, this latest news will only serve to add fuel to the fire that is burning under the police chief.

In the first year of the single national force, 30,000 armed police officers engaged with members of the public, and in October last year, Sir Stephen was forced to state that this would no longer be the case. He pledged that armed response units would only be sent to life-threatening cases, or to those cases that involved guns and weapons. Previously, there had been reports of an armed response team responding to a bus braking sharply in Glasgow.

A justice sub-committee heard that 1,644 officers had been proactively engaged with members of the public since the announcement, and this does represent a massive drop from previous figures. However, there were 5 reported incidents that, it was initially argued, did not warrant armed officers because they should not have been deemed life threatening. In a defensive stance, that the police chief should be accustomed to by now, Sir Stephen said that of the five incidents, three were in response to personal alarms being activated in incidents of domestic abuse, and that he believed this meant that there was a genuine risk of life. He went on to say that the other two incidents were a pub brawl and a disturbance, although nobody was present at the scene when the armed police arrived at the scene.

However, it also emerged that the 1,644 cases involved armed officers arresting, or supporting arresting officers, in cases of offences like dangerous driving and drink driving. Although these do have the potential for the loss of life, Scottish Parliament does not seem keen on the use of armed teams for this type of offence.

Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes said that this was another case of Police Scotland having to be forced to share information, and also singled out the Scottish Police Authority for failing to oversee the matter, when it should be their duty to do exactly that.

No the other North!

Longterm Registered User
They just happened to be armed, imagine the public furore if they drove past saying they weren't allowed to help.

Can't remember an incident abroad when the officer didn't have a sidearm as routine.

This is just politics.


Longterm Registered User
Spot on buddy,

Armed police are still the police, but there isn't a story in that headline




Longterm Registered User
All our Police are armed in NI, have a tail light out? Armed Police will pull you over, lose your wallet on the street? armed Police will call to your house. We don't really care.

This is personal opinion and up for scrutinisation but when I was working at the G8 summit over here I was looking after the Police compound, the English 'riot squad' 'DMSU' whatever you want to call them, the boys in the baseball hats and boiler suits, were very disappointed that there were no riots or rows. They were really just looking for a fight, our PSNI who are armed were just happy that everything went smoothly. Read into that what you will.