EXCLUSIVE: Thousands Of Weapons Seized From Visitors At Scottish Parliament
24 October 2016, 05:36
Thousands of potentially deadly weapons have been seized from visitors at the Scottish Parliament.
An exclusive Heart investigation has revealed security staff have discovered knives, scissors, corkscrews and screwdrivers.
Since 2014, 6,828 potential weapons were taken from visitors.
Knives made up 85% of the total items seized at the security gate.
Staff also uncovered 556 screwdrivers/corkscrews and 440 scissors.
Parliament security has a "retain and return" policy, where items deemed to be dangerous are returned to the owner after exiting the building.
A Scottish Parliament Spokesperson said: "For the safety of all, the Parliament does not allow visitors to carry certain sharp objects such as pen-knives or scissors while they are in the building, even if it is perfectly legal to do so in public.
"Our safety first approach is similar to that operated at Scottish and UK airports."
SNP MSP David Torrance was attacked in a pub by a member of the public before the Independence Referendum.
He said: "For indivuals to forget they've got a penknife or a pair of scissors on them, you'd think it would be quite few but nearly 7,000 potential weapons have been seized.
"That's extremely high.
"Parliament security costs a lot of money, but you do feel safe in the building.
"It's all about being open a friendly, and even if you're a visitor you can see security has been put in place and they take it really seriously.
"The parliament has an important connection with the people of Scotland and it's vital we keep that.
"There's no point in being behind closed doors like Westminster, and that's the great advantage of the Scottish Parliament."