MSPs will be offered self-defense courses to improve security


PSMs should be offered self-defense courses or de-escalation training as part of the Scottish Parliament’s new plans to improve their security.

Plans could also include security guards being sent for in-person surgeries alongside MSPs following the death of MP Sir David Amess.

Holyrood is responsible for the security of MSPs, and a new “project” has been launched to investigate the possibility of sending guards to protect members.

In an update from Parliament’s Resilience and Sustainability Officer, Lynsey Hamill, PSMs were briefed on the development as well as the provision of security training and advice.

Hamill wrote: “The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) recognizes that safety at surgical meetings is of particular concern at this time.

“So he commissioned a project that will assess whether we could centrally provide security guards to accompany members during surgery meetings.

“Most likely, such a service would require a procurement exercise to give us outside staff to call on across the country, but we will engage extensively with members to assess the potential demand and, if necessary, how such a service might. work best.

“In the meantime, the previous Security Bureau advice following the death of Sir David Amess is still very much on point, so be sure to follow it as best you can.”

The Parliamentary Security Office has also been asked to consider giving MSP self-defense classes or de-escalation training, although Hamill suggested a final decision was far from being made.

“The SPCB also asked the security bureau to consider some form of self-defense and / or de-escalation training,” she said.

“Likewise, the community is naturally concerned that none of us should put ourselves in danger.

“Therefore, officials were urged to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the problems associated with providing such training. I will keep you posted on progress.

The SPCB – a group of multi-party MPs who deal with the day-to-day functioning of parliament – agreed “in principle” that police should inspect members’ houses, offices and residences in Edinburgh, with the recommendations implemented. works to strengthen security.

While inspections are not mandatory for members, Hamill said, “We anticipate that most members will want to use this service. A project has been set up to move the implementation forward.

“It will also examine the possible tax implications of security changes to members’ homes and accommodation in Edinburgh.

“The SPCB agreed that central support should be provided to members so that the burden of finding contractors to do the work does not fall on the members or their staff.

“The security office is already providing central support to members when upgrading the security of the local office and will provide the same support for home and Edinburgh accommodation. ”

Clare Baker, a Labor member of the MSP and SPCB, said in a question-and-answer session on Thursday that the cost would not be a barrier to the safety of politicians.

Police Scotland will also provide an annual safety briefing to members.


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