41 Scots At Manchester Bomb Gig

25 May 2017, 17:15

manchester bomb

Police have identified 41 people from Scotland who were present at the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley said officers had been deployed to airports and train stations earlier this week to identify potential witnesses.

In an update to the board of the Scottish Police Authority, Mr Gormley said: "In broad terms, we had 41, so far, people from Scotland who have identified themselves or been identified to us as witnesses that were present at the event.''

He paid tribute to Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from Barra, who died in the explosion at the Ariana Grande concert on Monday, saying the ``deepest sympathies'' of all at the force went to her family.

Her friend, Laura MacIntyre, 15, also from Barra, remains in hospital being treated for serious injuries and family liaison officers from Scotland have travelled to Manchester to support both families.

Mr Gormley said extra resources had been deployed to the island, adding: "It's a tragedy of unimaginable proportions that has been wreaked on those families and the people of Manchester.''

Troops have been deployed at Ministry of Defence and civil nuclear sites across Scotland to free up armed officers after the UK's terror threat level was raised to critical.

"Based on what I know at the moment, there is no foreseeable prospect of us needing to ask for military colleagues to patrol in the public space,'' Mr Gormley said.

"That is a contingency that exists in extremis and you rule nothing in and nothing out, you're a fool if you do at this stage.

"What I can say is in terms of the overall resilience of Police Scotland, as a single national force we have got well-established protocols around this, we know how to do it and because of the investments that have been made and the scale of our organisation, we have sufficient firearms capability to meet all foreseeable threats and demands going forward.''

The chief constable said security arrangements around upcoming events such as the Scottish Cup Final, the visit to Scotland of former US president Obama, the Edinburgh Marathon and the Lisbon Lions memorial events in Glasgow had been reviewed to ensure they were "fit for purpose''.

"I am confident that the arrangements that we have in place around those significant events will provide a safe and secure environment for those to take place in,'' he said.

Mr Gormley reassured the board that police business was continuing as usual and there had been no noticeable increase in community tensions or hate crime.

He added that while demand levels into control rooms had remained broadly static, "there has been a predictable increase in suspicious reports to us and I would encourage that because if people see things that are causing them concern, please tell us.''

Earlier, Scotland's First Minister said educational psychologists were being sent to Barra to support the family and friends of Ms MacLeod.

Nicola Sturgeon was joined by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie in offering their condolences.

Mr Harvie also asked Ms Sturgeon to condemn intelligence leaks to the US media and if she agreed with the UK's decision to suspend information-sharing.

The First Minister responded: "I do share the anger and disbelief of the UK Government that we have seen very sensitive details from this ongoing live investigation leaked to the media in America.

"That is completely unacceptable and I think all of us should make clear that that is unacceptable and cannot be defended in any way, shape or form.

"I think the UK Government is right to, hopefully for a short period, stop sharing intelligence information like this with the American government.''

Earlier, the party leaders gathered in the Scottish Parliament's Garden Lobby to observe a minute's silence in memory of those killed and injured in the bombing.

Part of a nationwide silence at 11am, politicians and staff joined together to pay their respects.

Elsewhere, the Princess Royal was one of more than 800 people at the Church of Scotland's General Assembly in Edinburgh who took part in the minute's silence.

 

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