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Scottish police authority publishes terrorism paper by mistake

By DPF Admin25th January 2016August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

Police Scotland has identified “knowledge gaps” in its counter-terrorism strategy, according to a classified paper published in error on the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) website.

The force’s civilian watchdog was also warned that the police and partner authorities had yet to draw up a consistent list of vulnerable sites, according to the private paper, seen by the Press Association.

The update on Scotland’s compliance with the UK counter-terrorism strategy known as Contest said that police had found “knowledge gaps” in some councils, and was now developing counter-terrorism training tools for health workers and teachers as well as its own staff.

Police Scotland’s new chief constable, Phil Gormley, said recently that the force needed to have “a very careful look” at counter-terrorism policing.

In a briefing at Police Scotland’s Tulliallan headquarters on his second day in the job, Gormley said: “There are lessons to be learned post-Paris around tactics, techniques, the numbers of officers that we have got and their deployment.

“So that is a question that constantly needs to be revisited as the threat level around serious and organised crime alters and the threat level around CT (counter-terrorism) alters.”

He added that he thought the public were realistic about the use of armed officers, particularly following the Paris attacks. “I think people recognise that the world has changed and the sorts of threat they are having to contemplate requires an armed police response,” he said. “I don’t think we’re anywhere near needing a routinely armed service.”

Responding to the mistaken publication of the report, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The paper contained protectively marked information which was uploaded on to the SPA website in error and this was spotted and corrected after a media inquiry was received.

“Police Scotland continues to work with HMICS and SPA to ensure we provide a continually improving level of policing services to communities across Scotland. The public should be confident that Police Scotland’s priority is to ensure their safety and security; we want people to be alert but not alarmed. We constantly review security plans taking into account specific intelligence and the wider threat.”

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