Scotland politics

Armed police presence to remain at Scottish Parliament

armed officers Holyrood Image copyright PA
Image caption Armed officers have been a common sight outside the parliament building since March

Armed police officers are to remain on patrol at the Scottish Parliament after a review of security.

Armed officers have been deployed on and off outside Holyrood since the terror attack at Westminster in March.

Parliament chief executive Sir Paul Grice told members that in light of subsequent attacks in London and Manchester, an "enhanced visible deterrent" would be maintained.

Patrols will also be extended into the search area inside the main entrance.

The new arrangements will be reviewed quarterly.

In an email to all MSPs and staff, Mr Grice said a review of security alongside Police Scotland had found that Holyrood "has in place a substantial number of effective security features".

He said: "Police Scotland has taken the operational decision to continue to deploy an armed police presence to the public areas outside of the Scottish Parliament building.

"This is being done as a precautionary step following recent events. While the advice is that there is no specific threat to the parliament at this time, their clear rationale is to provide an enhanced visible deterrent and ensure the safety of all those who work in and visit Holyrood."

Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said the move was "proportionate and justified and was in line with the operational response at other devolved legislative assemblies in the UK".

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