The Scottish Government will continue to cooperate closely with partner agencies, both in the UK and further afield, to combat the threat of global terrorism and extremism. We will continue to strengthen the already robust measures that are in place to help safeguard people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation or at risk from any form of extremism.
In light of recent terrorist attacks, the public can expect to see a more visible police presence, particularly in busy areas, including armed police. The number of Armed Response Vehicles on duty has substantially increased. The deployment of armed police is an operational decision for the Chief Constable who takes account of a range of factors including intelligence reports and threat and risk assessments. The size and nature of a single national police service in Scotland allows these assets to be flexed appropriately to respond to emergent threats in response to intelligence
International cooperation is also essential to keep Scotland and the rest of the UK safe from the threats of organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism. At Westminster SNP MPs will call for continued cooperation to detect, disrupt and detain criminals across borders through Europol.
The SNP supports giving the security services and the police the necessary powers to fight serious crime and terrorism, but it is vital that any new powers are proportionate, focused, and in accordance with law. The SNP worked with other parties to improve the UK government’s Investigatory Powers Bill – ‘the Snooper’s Charter’. The SNP welcomed the Bill’s attempt to codify law enforcement’s existing powers and to provide an enhanced oversight regime. However, we remained concerned by the far-reaching bulk powers to acquire the personal and private data of individuals and ultimately opposed the bill because of those concerns.
We agree that following recent attacks counter-terrorism activities should be reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose.