Party leaders to agree police gun response

Party leaders at Scottish Borders Council will try to agree the wording of a response to an ongoing inquiry and review of Police Scotland’s policy of officers routinely carrying firearms.

This follows a motion put forward by Councillor Vicky Davidson at last week’s full council meeting.

Part of it read: “We call on HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to ensure that the routine deployment of armed officers does not become the norm in our Border towns.”

While members generally agreed with the sentiment of the motion, it was felt that the wording of the council’s response could be created through a meeting of the party leaders in a “short-life working group”.

SNP group leader Donald Moffat said: “It is important what we put forward, and we have to get it right and should have the wording that does the job we want.”

A meeting of council leaders from across Scotland at the end of last week unanimously opposed the policy of allowing officers to carry guns on routine patrol.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities meeting also agreed to invite Chief Constable Stephen House to meet with leaders.