Calls for Trump protests to be 'safe and peaceful'

10 July 2018, 15:24 | Updated: 10 July 2018, 15:30

Donald Trump

Protests against US President Donald Trump on his visit to Scotland should be safe and peaceful, the Justice Secretary has said.

Humza Yousaf was briefed by senior officers at Police Scotland on how the force is preparing for the arrival of Mr Trump and expected demonstrations.

The president and his wife Melania are due to arrive in Scotland on Friday evening after meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle. They are expected to be in Scotland until Sunday.

Further details of the visit are yet to be confirmed but is widely expected Mr Trump will play a round of golf at one of the two courses he owns in Scotland - Trump Turnberry near Girvan, South Ayrshire, and Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire.

Protest rallies are planned at both courses over the weekend as well as at Glasgow's
George Square on Friday evening and at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Saturday, along with a "carnival of resistance" in the Meadows area of the capital.

Mr Yousaf said: "We understand that many people feel very strongly about President Trump and his administration's policies, and will want to express that this weekend when he is in the country.

"That is why there are a number of organised protest locations across the country this weekend and I would urge people who want to exercise their right to demonstrate in those locations to do so in a safe and peaceful manner.

"It is clear that President Trump's visit will have significant operational implications for Police Scotland and planning has been taking place with partners for some time.

"I am confident that Police Scotland will provide a professional and effective policing response, keeping communities safe and facilitating peaceful protest.

"Further clarity around President Trump's plans whilst visiting Scotland would greatly aid the planning that is being taken forward by our police and wider partners."

Police Scotland have said his visit will require more than 5,000 of their officers and the UK Government is covering the £5 million cost.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: "The president's visit to Scotland will require a significant policing operation, involving thousands of officers and specialist resources.

"As with the visit of any high-profile head of state, detailed planning is already well under way.

"Whilst the exact details of his programme are still being finalised, our objectives will be to ensure the safety of the president and of those travelling with him, and to maintain public safety.

"In addition, we will work closely with any groups to facilitate lawful protest."