Police Scotland Brexit preparation spending hits £7 million

Police Scotland has spent more than £7 million preparing for Brexit, according to a new report.

Aug 19, 2019
By Tony Thompson

The Brexit contingency planning document, due to be discussed at a board meeting of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) on Wednesday (August 21), also reveals that the force has been preparing for civil unrest and protests in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU.

The report, authored by Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr who leads on local policing, says: “Brexit is a highly contentious subject and the Brexit contingency planning team are fully aware of the potential civil unrest. Police Scotland’s Brexit intelligence officers continue to monitor social media sites in order that Police Scotland can prepare and respond to any potential protests.”

Earlier this month a ‘force reserve’ was established, based at five hubs across Scotland. The officers will be used to provide a quick reaction force at the first sign of any unrest. The reserve has already been deployed at a number of events, including football fixtures, Extinction Rebellion activity and at Edinburgh’s summer festivals.

Police Scotland has also retained 400 extra officers to deal with domestic unrest and stand ready for deployment in Northern Ireland, where the combination of a hard border and sectarian unrest is expected to lead to a particularly volatile situation.

Draft no-deal contingency guidance has also been created for officers should it be required, while a separate team is working on ensuring international investigations and intelligence sharing continue post-Brexit. Four detective inspectors, five detective sergeants, 22 detective constables and two members of staff have been recruited to help manage global inquiries.

As of August 9, Police Scotland has spent £7,011,038 on Brexit contingency planning.

Details of the report have emerged just as documents leaked by The Sunday Times warned that Britain will be hit with a three-month “meltdown” at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if it leaves without a deal.

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