No Troops On Scottish Streets

24 May 2017, 15:16 | Updated: 24 May 2017, 15:26

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Troops will be deployed at Ministry of Defence and civil nuclear sites across Scotland to free up armed officers in the wake of the Manchester terror attack, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Scotland's First Minister said military personnel would secure 12 sites north of the border under Operation Temperer, which is being enacted after security experts warned the UK Government that another terrorist attack could be imminent.

Ms Sturgeon stressed "no specific threat to Scotland has been identified'' and added that soldiers were not expected to be deployed on the streets of Scotland.

A meeting of the Scottish Government's resilience committee was held in the early hours of Wednesday after confirmation the UK's terror threat level had been raised to critical.

Updating MSPs at Holyrood on the implications of the move and Operation Temperer, the First Minister said: "What this means in Scotland is that military personnel will be used at civil nuclear and Ministry of Defence sites.

"There are a total of 12 such sites in Scotland, nine Ministry of Defence and three civil nuclear sites.

"These sites, which are not accessible to the general public, will be secured by the military as of today.

"The presence of military personnel at sites of this nature both in Scotland and across the UK will free up the armed police who are normally on duty there and these armed police will create a contingency resource which can be deployed across the UK.''

Ms Sturgeon said any decision to use that resource north of the border would be taken by Police Scotland but there were currently no plans to do so.

She added that the single force has about 600 trained firearms officers and the number of armed response vehicles on patrol had been doubled since the attack at the Manchester Arena on Monday which killed 22 and injured dozens.

Ms Sturgeon said members of the public were likely to see more armed police on streets than usual, particularly at transport hubs and city centres.

She added: "We do not currently envisage that military personnel will be deployed on the streets in Scotland or in other public locations.

"However, as with all operational matters, this will be kept under review by the Chief Constable.''