Highland Council asks Police Scotland to review gun policy

Police Scotland firearms officers Specialist firearms officers carry a Taser and a holstered handgun

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Highland Council has asked Police Scotland to review its decision to arm officers in the Highlands.

A small number of specially-trained officers in the area have been routinely carrying side-arms since before April last year.

Police in the former Strathclyde and Tayside forces also allowed specialist officers to routinely carry guns before the launch of the new single force.

Police Scotland has adopted the approach across the country.

Fifty nine Highland councillors support a motion by the local authority's depute leader, David Alston, calling for the policy to be reviewed.

Earlier this month, the officer in charge of policing in the Highlands and Islands said he could have done more to make the public aware of changes to firearms policy.

Ch Supt Julian Innes said he "probably had not explained" the police tactic as well as could have.

He told BBC Radio Scotland officers had been carrying Tasers and holstered handguns for 13 months before it had become an issue.

  • Strathclyde Police, Tayside Police and Northern Constabulary allowed specialist officers to routinely carry guns before the launch of the new single force.
  • Police Scotland had adopted the approach across the country since its launch in April last year.
  • The force has 275 firearms officers - 1.6% of Police Scotland's personnel - and they are deployed on a shift pattern basis.

A political row over specially-trained officers routinely carrying side-arms started in May when Independent MSP John Finnie raised concerns about the change in policy.

He said previously firearms officers had to retrieve their weapons from locked safes in armed response vehicles with permission from a senior officer.

Mr Finnie said following the change in policy there had been occasions when firearms officers had supported unarmed police on routine duties, such as dispersing late night crowds from outside pubs and clubs.

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    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

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    14:56: 'New Highland land war'

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    JAC: #NicolaSturgeon speech as First Minister shows vision, passion & commitment. A refreshing side to UK politics shown.

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    On land reform, Ms Sturgeon says Scotland's land "must be an asset which benefits the many, not the few". She says proposals of a land reform will be outlined next week. Among the plans are:

    • Powers for ministers to intervene where the scale of land ownership or the conduct of a landlord is acting as a barrier to sustainable development
    • Establishment of Scottish land Reform Commission
    • Measures to improve transparency and accountability of land ownership
    • Action to ensure charities holding large areas of land are under obligation to engage with communities
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    liarpoliticians: Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliament to abolish collection Community Charge / Poll Tax debt, she admits it's to get [SNP] votes.

    Jon Jay: @theSNP @NicolaSturgeon "my government" Nicola Sturgeon says. She must think of herself as Queen Nicola, right enough.

    14:51: What do you think?

    What's your reaction to what you've heard so far of Nicola Sturgeon's plans for government?

    Nicola Sturgeon in Holyrood

    Email us here or tweet using #ScotlandLive with your thoughts.

    14:49: Holyrood legislative programme

    Ms Sturgeon says she will take forward a manifesto commitment to establish an independent commission to examine fairer alternatives to existing system of council tax.

    The value of international exports, she says, has grown by nearly a third, the government has worked hard to promote innovation and skills, working hard in a "tough economic environment".

    The Small Business Bonus will increase for the duration of this parliament, and should they be re-elected, continued for another term.

    14:48: Holyrood legislative programme

    Ms Sturgeon wants money to be directed by communities themselves, to "harness the energies of local people".

    She says the government will establish a new empowering communities fund, encompassing the existing people and communities fund with an additional £10m.

    14:47: James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Commission to examine local government funding to report by autumn 2015 says @NicolaSturgeon. Council tax freeze remains meantime.

    14:42: Holyrood programme

    Ms Sturgeon says she will take part in a Facebook Q & A tonight as part of her plans to open up government.

    14:40: Sturgeon address

    The first minister is addressing MSPs at Holyrood.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon begins her speech outlining the Scottish government's legislative programme by saying, if powers are granted following the Smith Commission, she will bring in legislation to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote for the 2016 Holyrood elections.

    Ms Sturgeon describes creating an "open and accessible" government.

    14:35: Holyrood legislation

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to outline the Scottish government's legislative plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon has promised "radical" policies when she outlines her first programme for government at parliament.

    A ban on under-18s buying electronic cigarettes is also expected.

    Opposition politicians said the independence referendum had left Scotland "on pause", and action was needed on several fronts.

    14:27: Bed blocking The Press and Journal

    New figures have shown Aberdeen is lagging badly behind other council areas in Grampian in addressing problems with bed blocking in hospitals.

    Hospital beds

    The statistics relate to the amount of time that patients are having to wait in wards - despite being fit to leave - because care packages provided by the local authority are not in place.

    The rate of bed days in Aberdeen for people aged over-75 is more than double that in neighbouring Aberdeenshire and Moray.

    Read the full story here.

    14:21: Sentence cut for revenge murder

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    Dean Melnyk, left, was jailed along with his friend Andrew Brown earlier this year Dean Melnyk, left, was jailed along with his friend Andrew Brown earlier this year

    Dean Melnyk, 21, travelled from Lockerbie to Ecclefechan in Dumfries and Galloway along with his friend 23-year-old Andrew Brown, and repeatedly stabbed Kevin MacKay in August 2013.

    Mr Melnyk will now have to serve 17 years for killing Mr MacKay in 2013 before becoming eligible for parole. He was originally jailed for 20 years along with Brown earlier this year.

    Lawyers for Melnyk argued he had played the "minor role" in the murder.

    14:07: Student stamps his authority The Herald

    A photograph of a Scottish-based student working in Antarctica features in a new set of stamps.

    Damon Davies, a postgraduate in geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, appears in one of four new British Antarctic Territory postage stamps.

    Antarctica stamps

    The wintry-looking set, issued for the start of the Antarctic summer, will be on sale at British research stations in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.

    Read the full story here.

    Text us using 80295 13:53: Your Views

    George. Glasgow: There was no detail or cross party agreement on new powers for Scotland prior to the referendum vote. Quite deliberately there is no quantifiable benchmark to judge the success of the Smith Commission. Therefore, what is Alistair Carmichael talking about on your news item?

    Sam, a driver in Glasgow: At a time when other councils in the UK understand bus lanes are a complete waste of time, one has to question the sanity of the Glasgow City Council's transport strategy. Who are these people that are are causing mayhem for pure greed in the city centre? Obviously not drivers.

    13:41: Teenage Kicks BBC Radio Scotland

    Live in 5 - an insight into the lives of Scottish teens involved in #indyref @BBCGen2014

    Generation 2014
    13:29: Tonev appeal date set

    Celtic's appeal against the seven-match ban given to winger Aleksandar Tonev for racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan will be heard on 4 December.

    Celtic's Aleksandar Tonev

    The Bulgarian winger, 24, was found guilty of "excessive misconduct" by the Scottish Football Association following an incident in Celtic's 2-1 win over Aberdeen in September.

    13:26: Coming up...

    Wednesday's lunchtime edition of Reporting Scotland on BBC One will preview First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon will reveal the government's legislative programme later this afternoon.

    BBC's Reporting Scotland

    Watch Reporting Scotland, from 13:30, here.

    13:19: Glasgow bus gate plans

    Glasgow City Council has identified two new locations for controversial bus gates. Traffic would be limited on Renfield Street and Oswald Street.

    The report proposes making Sauchiehall Street into a more pedestrian-friendly "avenue"

    A bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place was introduced in June, earning the council at least £800,00 in fines in two months.

    The report estimates that if the measures were introduced, city-centre traffic would fall by 9% but general traffic journey times would increase.

    The council's transport strategy, which has not yet been approved, aims to identify problems and solutions for travel in the city centre.

    13:05: Holyrood powers Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has promised that further powers will be delivered to the Scottish Parliament. He told MPs that the commitment to further devolution was made in good faith and would be kept to the timetable previously outlined.

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael

    The Smith Commission is due to publish a broad outline of recommendations tomorrow.

    In response to a question from a Labour MP about devolution for England and London - a move backed by the London mayor Boris Johnson - Mr Carmichael suggested further debate and consensus were required in England before that occurred.

    He told the Commons that Scotland had debated its constitutional future for decades.

    12:51: 'Stop-and-search'

    You have been discussing our police stop-and-search story on the BBC Scotland News Facebook page.

    Nigel Rattray: Rather than being stated as "unsuccessful" they should saying successful! As the message is obviously getting across and people are not carrying offensive weapons etc.

    Stuart Duncan: Maybe they are unsuccessful because they are so successful.

    Paul McLaughlin: I was at school over 40 years ago, carrying knives happened. People were stabbed. It seems better now, well done cops.

    12:42: Coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Legislative programme from FM @NicolaSturgeon on Politics Scotland BBC2 Scotland @ 1430.

    12:28: Cats poisoned

    The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after two cats died from suspected antifreeze poisoning in the Stirling area.

    A post-mortem examination revealed she died after ingesting an antifreeze substance.

    Antifreeze, or ethylene glycol, has a sweet taste which appeals to cats and is usually colourless and odourless.

    The charity was unable to say whether the poisonings were deliberate or accidental.

    12:15: Today's hot topics John Beattie BBC Scotland

    UKIP leader Nigel Farrage says male voters are more likely to take a risk at the ballot box than women. Do you agree?

    Nigel Farage

    Let us know: text 80295, email us or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

    And how do you fancy giving yourself a portable eye test? Designer of Peek Retina Dr Giardini from University of Strathclyde will be here to explain all.

    12:08: Coming up... BBC Sport Scotland

    Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland now for the latest from the European Curling Championships, and to hear from Hearts owner Ann Budge.

    Listen live here.

    12:02: Never Miss A Beatt... John Beattie BBC Scotland

    We're on air and you can listen live to the programme here.

    John Beattie
    11:58: 'The List' soon to be free Angie Brown BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

    What's on guide, The List, is to become a free title with an increased print run from next year.

    The list website

    The listings and reviews publication will also move from a monthly issue to every two months.

    The print run will increase from 18,000 to 25,000 and drop its £2.50 price with costs being covered by an increase in advertising.

    The preview and weekly issues during the Edinburgh festival season will continue.

    11:57: Milking the moment

    Fast-growing dairy firm Graham's has reported a sharp rise in sales and profits.

    Graham's dairy cows

    The company, which works with more than 90 farmers across Scotland and employs 500 staff, said sales rose by 25% to £85m in the year to the end of March. Pre-tax profits also climbed from £1m to more than £1.3m.

    Graham's, which is based in Bridge of Allan near Stirling, said nearly half of Scottish households were now buying its products.

    11:44: Girl indecently assaulted

    A 12-year-old girl has been indecently assaulted in Aberdeen.

    Police say the incident occurred in the Park Place and Princes Street area of the city at 08:45 on Tuesday.

    The suspect is described as a man of Indian appearance with short black hair and has brown eyes. He was aged between 30 to 40-years-old and was wearing navy blue jeans, a red hooded top and a black rain jacket.

    Officers say the girl was left extremely distressed.

    Police are liaising with schools to ensure parents are aware of the incident and have extra patrols in the area in an effort to reassure the local community.

    11:32: Never Miss A Beatt... John Beattie BBC Scotland

    Here's a question for you ahead of the programme at 12 on @BBCRadioScot: why are women more cautious than men?

    11:29: Borders railway Giancarlo Rinaldi South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

    Pupils from Stow Primary School have had a close-up view of Borders Railway rails being installed at the village's station.

    Pupils from Stow Primary School

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    Since construction began the pupils have had a front seat in tracking the progress ahead of trains returning to the Scottish Borders for the first time in more than 45 years next year.

    11:23: Clutha charity match

    Police officers will face firefighters in a charity ice hockey match on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the Clutha helicopter crash.

    Clutha victims

    Officers from the Scottish Police Ice Hockey Section will take on the UK Fire-fighter Ice Hockey Team at Braehead Arena near Glasgow.

    The helicopter crashed onto the busy Clutha bar on 29 November last year.

    The crash killed 10, including pilot David Traill and Pcs Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis, who were on board.

    11:14: Inquiry to be held for cyclist death

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    Sheila Hyslop, 50, died of her injuries five days after the fall in Dumfries in April.

    At the time, police dismissed rumours the popular amateur dramatics actress had hit a pot hole in the road.

    A Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held into the circumstances of her death in January at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

    11:07: Hoops hero in hospital The Scotsman

    .@celticfc legend Tommy Gemmell is recovering in hospital after he collapsed at home http://bit.ly/1xT0gCo

    Tommy Gemmell
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    Ryan Mania has told Jane Lewis he is looking forward to a life away from horse racing after announcing his retirement.

    Ryan Mania

    The Scot, who won the Grand National in 2013, admitted he had grown tired of the jockey lifestyle.

    "Racing's been great to me and I love it, but it just takes its toll and you think 'there's more to life than this'," Mania told BBC Scotland.

    "I'd like to do something completely different, I'd enjoy doing something in the media or TV, something like that."

    10:49: Neil Findlay's pledge to Scotland

    Scottish Labour leadership candidate Neil Findlay aims to build 50,000 new social houses and end youth unemployment.

    "Any devolution of taxes must ensure that we secure a good deal for Scotland. But, let's be clear, constitutional change does not equal political change," he said.

    Neil Findlay

    "On tax, I believe in the principle of progressive taxation where the people with broadest shoulder bear a heavier burden to help the poorest. It will be that principal that will guide my thinking on taxation."

    The Labour MSP also launched a charter for greater rights in the workplace as part of his campaign for party leadership and pledged to "end exploitation and insecurity, tackle Scotland's deep-seated problems" and called for greater devolution of employment law.

    10:40: New halls for Art School The Evening Times

    An empty office block in Glasgow city centre is undergoing a £7.5m makeover.

    Blythswood House is being transformed into student accommodation for the Glasgow School of Art.

    The conversion will create 218 study bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. There will also be common rooms and flats containing up to eight bedrooms.

    Read the full story here.

    10:32: Leg jibe case 'not proven'

    A Galashiels man accused of stabbing a friend in the neck after he had made a joke about his artificial leg has been cleared by a jury.

    They found an attempted murder charge against John Grierson, 27, not proven. He had denied assaulting Michael Mulholland, claiming the injury was accidental.

    Mr Grierson told the High Court in Livingston that Mr Mulholland had called him a "peg-legged pirate" and tried to pull his prosthetic leg off.

    10:27: Naismith on Rangers

    "It was a horrible situation to be in."

    Steven Naismith

    BBC Sport's Matt Slater speaks to Steven Naismith about his departure from Rangers.

    10:20: Capture the moment Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    Images taken in Scotland are among the finalists in the Kendal Mountain Festival photography competition.

    They include a photograph of Skye-born stunt rider Danny Macaskill.

    A cyclist on top of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

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    10:07: Mending broken Hearts

    Watch Hearts owner Ann Budge discuss her first six months at the Tynecastle club, women in football, the state of the Scottish game and handing power to the fans.

    Ann Budge
    10:02: Accessible tourism

    Tourism businesses are to be encouraged to make themselves more accessible to visitors with disabilities, older people and young families.

    accessible tourism

    Since 2009-10, accessible tourism spend in Scotland has risen from £325m to £391m, according to VisitScotland.

    But the Highland Tourism Conference in Inverness will hear that there is potential to further increase spending.

    VisitScotland said accessible tourism was an emerging market that involved 1.3 billion potential visitors.

    09:54: 'I'm A Granite Man...'

    Sir Elton John will play a concert in Aberdeen at a specially constructed outdoor venue next summer.

    Sir Elton, 67, will perform in front of about 14,000 fans on Saturday 20 June.

    Elton John

    The outdoor seated arena will be the first concert staged in this way at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Tickets go on sale on Friday from 09:00.

    It will be the first Sir Elton has performed in Aberdeen since Pittodrie in 2004.

    09:47: Do you really need A&E? Morag Kinniburgh BBC News Scotland

    A campaign is under way to help prevent unnecessary trips to A&E departments over the festive season.

    The Scottish government and NHS 24 are urging people to stock up with cold and flu remedies, have enough repeat prescriptions and know the opening times of the local pharmacy and GP.

    Emergency department

    Last winter there was an early start to the norovirus season, an increase in respiratory illnesses and greater pressure on accident and emergency departments at Scotland's hospitals so this year the government and NHS have developed this health-wise campaign.

    09:42: Rents higher in Scotland

    Property rents have risen faster in Scotland than in England and Wales over the past year, according to a new report.

    Scottish houses

    Lettings agent network Your Move said average rents north of the border were 2.2% higher last month than a year ago.

    Its Buy-to-Let Index found rents in England and Wales rose by just 1.5% over the same period.

    09:31: Archbishop of Canterbury's Scottish tour The Courier

    The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has visited Dundee and Fife as part of a two-day tour of Scotland.

    Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

    He visited a church cafe project at St Luke's in Downfield, Dundee, which he described as "inspirational" and said his first visit to the city had been a positive one.

    Read the full story here.

    09:17: National-winning jockey retires

    Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania has announced his retirement from the saddle at the age of 25, saying he no longer "got a kick out of winning".

    Ryan Mania

    The Scot shot to fame by winning the Aintree showpiece in 2013 on the Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore at 66-1.

    Just 24 hours later, Mania was airlifted to hospital following a crashing fall at Hexham, in which he suffered a neck injury.

    Mania has taken a previous sabbatical, in 2011.

    09:16: More women into work

    Former Scottish Government special adviser and columnist Jennifer Dempsie told Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland that she believed there will be three key themes in Nicola Sturgeon's government programme today: empowering communities, what could be done with additional tax powers for businesses, and social justice.

    "Budget cuts from Westminster have definitely reduced the abilities of the Scottish government, but they have done what they can," she added. "I think what Nicola will be very clear today - the more women we can get into work, the more that will strengthen Scotland's economy."

    09:15: Tune in BBC Radio Scotland

    Morning Call: Scotland has its lowest crime figures in 40 years - Louise asks - do you feel safer? Have your say 0500 92 95 00.

    Listen live to the programme here.

    08:59: 'Nuclear graveyard' Giancarlo Rinaldi South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

    An MSP has warned a Scottish site could become a "nuclear graveyard" if it is chosen to store radioactive waste from redundant Royal Navy submarines.


    Chapelcross, near Annan, is one of five possible locations across the UK. South of Scotland Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume said he hoped people would get involved in consultation and reject any plans to use Chapelcross.

    The UK government has pledged that public opinion will be taken into account in deciding the final location. Public meetings on the issue will get under way in the Dumfries and Galloway town this weekend.

    08:50: Crowdfunding appeal for eyesight app

    The team behind a portable eye examination kit that uses smartphones is crowdfunding to raise funds for its new innovation.

    Eyesight app

    Peek Retina is a smartphone camera adapter engineered at the University of Strathclyde and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

    The company's apps and adapter help tackle avoidable blindness by making eye care widely available, and provide tools for those who cannot reach clinics or hospitals.

    Peek Retina, the team's newest creation, is an adapter that can be clipped over the camera of a smartphone to allow health workers to see inside the eye, save the photos and send them to experts for diagnosis and treatment.

    08:44: Public service reform sought

    Today will see Scotland's new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out her programme for government.

    On Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, John Downie, the director of public affairs for the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, was asked how he would tackle the issues of poverty and inequality, something Ms Sturgeon pledged at the SNP conference to address.

    "I think we need to think about the root causes of poverty and inequality in Scotland," he said. "That takes us to the way our economy works, at a national and local level.

    "You can't do it by protecting public services. What public services need is reform. We need more control of their own lives, such as control over local budgets.

    "What we need to see is a different way of doing government."

    08:41: On the move?

    Which English Premier League outfit are being linked with a move for Celtic's Kris Commons?

    Celtic's Kris Commons

    Read the latest football gossip and the rest of the back-page headlines in our newspaper round-up.

    08:34: Most stop-and-searches 'unsuccessful'

    The majority of stop-and-searches conducted by Police Scotland failed to recover any illegal items, data obtain by BBC Scotland suggests.

    Nearly 85% of the 42,826 consensual searches carried out in August and September 2014 were unsuccessful.

    BBC Scotland has created a searchable database of recent stop-and-search data

    This type of search - which does not require reasonable suspicion - comprised two-thirds of all searches during the period.

    Police Scotland said the tactic had contributed to a reduction in crime.

    08:32: I'm feline fine...

    A cat has been reunited with his owner after being missing for almost two years.

    Sheen was just a kitten when he disappeared in Bothwell, North Lanarkshire, the week before Christmas in 2012.

    Sheen vanished the week before Christmas in 2012

    Now, after the persistent detective work of Kirsty Adderton who found the stray on her doorstep, the "gobsmacked but thankful" owner has been traced.

    Sheen was in Renfrew, more than 30 miles away from where he vanished.

    His owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was not thinking of getting a cat in the first place, but I saw one in a litter that was different - scrambling to get out - and I thought 'that is the cat for me'.

    "I had given up. Then, randomly, I got a letter with Kirsty's number."

    08:27: Tax freeze 'stopgap' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Former Scottish government adviser @JenDempsie on #bbcgms describing the council tax freeze as a "stopgap". Interesting.

    08:26: Today's papers

    The Daily Record and the Scottish Sun lead with the news that the father of murdered toddler Madison Horn has been tormented by "sick" jokes about her death on Facebook.

    Newspapers composite

    The National looks at Jim Murphy's "conversion", after the Scottish Labour leadership candidate backed the full devolution of income tax powers - but in an editorial suggests it may be "too little, too late".

    The Herald, meanwhile, focuses on a "postcode lottery" for fertility treatment in Scotland with couples in Glasgow often having to wait more than a year for treatment.

    Read our full paper review here.

    08:21: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Road traffic collision on M8 Eastbound at J2 M9 / B7030 Newbridge/Claylands. One lane - lane two of two - blocked between the exit and entry slip. In Queensferry, reports that Kirkliston Road partially blocked by road traffic collision near Scotstoun Avenue.

    08:18: Missing runner found in Cairngorms

    A 25-year-old runner reported missing in the Cairngorms has been found safe and well after a five-hour search operation.

    Members of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, the RAF and Police Scotland were called in shortly after he was reported missing at about 17:00 GMT.

    The runner was found in the Lairg Ghru area

    The search for the runner, who has not been named, centred on Lairg Ghru area of the Cairngorm mountain range.

    The man was part of a group of six that had set off from the Sugarbowl, near Loch Morlich, together.

    It was understood he became separated and had no torch, map, compass or food with him.

    He was wearing only running shorts and a vest in sub-zero temperatures when he was located by a helicopter.

    08:13: Coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Scottish government figures suggest recorded crime reached lowest level in 40 years in past 12 months. What's behind this? #bbcgms 0815

    Good Morning Scotland

    Listen live to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme here.

    08:11: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Hi, it's Gillian. Chilly start, 3-5C for most, sub-zero parts of the Highlands. Mist & fog, especially in the Glasgow area, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire & the Highlands. Dry for most of the country today but cloudy, best of the sun in the northwest. Rain will affect the Borders & the east coast. Feeling chilly, at 7C.

    08:07: Hearts on the move? Brian McLauchlin BBC Scotland

    Finances could eventually force Hearts to move from Tynecastle Stadium, according to owner Ann Budge.

    The Edinburgh businesswoman has been speaking in depth for the first time since her summer takeover.

    Tynecastle Stadium

    Budge explained that one of her priorities was to tackle parts of the stadium in disrepair.

    "But we've got to be realistic and it might be that it's a more cost-effective solution to actually move," she told BBC Scotland.

    "Tynecastle does have something magical about it. If there was some way we could actually do something with the stand, it might be that that would be the better option and I know a lot of people would prefer to stay."

    08:02: Sturgeon to outline plans Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Plans for an alternative to council tax are expected to be at the core of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon promised "radical" policies when she outlines her first programme for government at parliament.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    A ban on under-18s buying electronic cigarettes is also expected.

    Opposition politicians said the independence referendum had left Scotland "on pause", and action was needed on several fronts.

    The government's legislative programme, expected to include a list of about a dozen pieces of new legislation, may also look at placing a duty on health and social care authorities to own up when things have gone wrong.

    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and welcome to Wednesday's edition of Scotland Live, as we bring you the latest news and sport between now and 18:00.



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