Police chief hails ‘positive visit’ as PM confirms funding for Cop26 policing

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said he told the Prime Minister the must be ‘no detriment’ to the police force as a result of Cop26.

Police chief hails ‘positive visit’ as PM confirms funding for Cop26 policing

The head of Scotland’s police force has welcomed confirmation from Boris Johnson that the Government will cover the cost of policing the Cop26 climate.

The climate change conference will see thousands of delegates, heads of state and environmental organisations descend on Glasgow in November in what is expected to be one of the biggest and most challenging events for Police Scotland.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone met with the Prime Minister at Police Scotland’s Tulliallan training college in Fife to discuss how the summit will be policed and to insist that there should be “no detriment” to the force as a result of the 13-day event.

Following the meeting, Mr Johnson said: “We are totally committed to funding the police and to making sure that they have the resources that they need to do what’s necessary.”

“It was also underlining to him that, as well as policing Cop26, I’ve obviously got a key responsibility to continue to police all the communities of Scotland during this period.

“It was a very positive visit and he also extended his thanks for the work of police officers and police staff right throughout the period of the Covid crisis.”

Mr Livingstone added:  “We outlined the fact that there’s going to be significant financial cost and, right from the outset of planning for Cop26, I was very clear that there could be no detriment to Police Scotland in terms of funding because if there was a detriment to Police Scotland that would mean there was a detriment to the people of Scotland.

Boris Johnson visit to Scotland
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Chief Constable Iain Livingstone as he meets officers during a visit to the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan (James Glossop/The Times/PA)

An estimated 7,000 police officers from other UK forces will assist Police Scotland during the climate summit, although Mr Livingstone stressed the arrangements were “flexible” and numbers could increase or decrease “depending on the specific threat and the specific circumstances that are there”.

Approximately 10,000 officers will be involved daily during the conference, he added.

Boris Johnson visit to Scotland
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and dog handler Pc Chris Morrison with dog Eli (James Glossop/The Times/PA)

“I think the United Nations actually encourages protest to raise the prominence and the significance of the issue.

“So our responsibility as a police service – just as we policed the pandemic, just as we police Scotland day in and day out – is to ensure that people have that right of protest, that people’s voices can be heard, but they do so in a way that doesn’t cause harm to others and doesn’t disrupt the safe activity and conclusion of this critical international event.”

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