Chief Constable contributes to Scottish Government briefing ahead of COP26
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone joined the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch during a Scottish Government briefing ahead of COP26.
The following is a transcript of the Chief Constable's opening remarks.
As Chief Constable, I want to assure the people of Scotland that our police service is ready to support a safe and secure COP26. And, of equal importance, we are ready to ensure a quality policing service is maintained for every citizen, every community in Glasgow, and indeed, across the whole of Scotland during the conference period.
Our policing operation, Operation Urram, is one of the biggest ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. 7,000 officers and staff from every single police service in the United Kingdom are today arriving to join colleagues from Police Scotland. Over 10,000 officers will be on duty on some days of the conference.
As Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland, all officers and staff are under my command and control while deployed to COP26. Accordingly, they will work to the values of policing in Scotland and follow the tone and approach that Police Scotland will apply during the operation.
The United Nations, the organisers of the event, want people to make their voices heard. It’s an objective of the conference. They expect and encourage demonstrations and protests. Our response will be informed by, and consistent with, key human rights and considerations – necessity, proportionality and lawfulness.
These principles are vital in all that we do within policing and they are what I expect from Police Scotland, and from our colleagues who will be supporting us. We will protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest at COP26, balanced against the rights of the wider community.
But to those intent on violent disorder and damage; to those who seek to disrupt the climate conference actually taking place; I have a clear message. We will respond swiftly. We will respond robustly.
Every individual within Police Scotland has a role to play. Either directly deployed during the conference or in day to day business ensuring every citizen in Scotland continues to get the help they need and deserve, when they turn to their police service at times of crisis and emergency.
An event the size of COP26 of course places considerable demands on policing and brings inevitable disruption. Thus, maintaining an effective and responsive police service to all of Scotland has been central to our preparation since we knew that COP26 was coming to Glasgow, was coming to Scotland.
We know need and requirements can arise unexpectedly and, as a national Service, we are able to deploy resources quickly.
That’s been evident over the last 24 hours, when we have had officers from many parts of Scotland deployed to the south of the country to support communities affected by the terrible flooding.
I am focused and confident about Police Scotland’s ability to lead this enormous policing operation, that’s primarily because of the quality and commitment to public service that’s demonstrated by officers and staff in all ranks, all roles in Police Scotland, strongly supported by other UK colleagues.
I would stress again, if you or your family at any time need police assistance, contact us; call treble nine in an emergency. We are here to help you and to keep you safe. I will close as I began, by assuring the people of Scotland that our police Service, your police Service, is ready for the challenges that lie ahead: both to police COP26, and to continue keeping people safe across the whole of Scotland.
Thank you and take care.