COP26 - Update on the policing of protests in Glasgow
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie has provided an update following a day of activity at COP26.
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said:
“We have facilitated a number of protests in Glasgow today and engaged with protest groups as they moved through the city centre. A group was contained for a short period in the St Vincent Street and Renfield Street area and a plan was then put in place to allow protestors to move to Lancefield Quay near the island site accompanied by a protected escort cordon.
“It was necessary to do this in order to maintain public safety, to keep protestors away from oncoming traffic and to allow vehicles to safely pass the procession.
“We liaised with protest groups to understand what they wanted and to facilitate their requests as far as reasonably possible, balancing their right to protest against potential community impact and safety.
“Since the start of the conference, we have consistently followed our stated intention to take a rights-based approach to protest, recognising the rights of protesters to have their voices heard during this significant event.
“We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protest and it is therefore extremely disappointing that officers were assaulted by having paint sprayed in their faces. These officers were simply doing their job and trying to protect people and keep them safe.
"Police officers have a right, like everybody else, to do their job without being assaulted and any violence they face during protests is totally unacceptable. Those who commit violence against police officers will be dealt with swiftly and robustly and five people have been arrested today for offences in connection with this protest."
ACC Ritchie added:
“This morning we seized a large inflatable that was due to be launched on the River Clyde. This was necessary as it breached the maritime restrictions in place to maintain public safety and security close to the COP26 venue.
“We continue to engage with groups wishing to protest and counter-protest and will balance this against the needs of the wider community. Protest activity is expected to continue over the coming days, and so if you are planning to come to Glasgow, either to protest or for other reasons, please check the Get Ready Glasgow website and plan your journey.”