The Scottish Police have announced that they will be “quicker” to deal with demonstrators who are disrupting major traffic routes during the Cop26 climate conference.
Senior officials have stressed the police’s tone will be “friendly” but said they would be “quick and robust” with protesters who cause violence or harm.
Over the past five weeks, Insulate Britain activists have blocked roads in England for 14 days, with activists often taping their hands to the pavement to increase the time it takes police to remove them.
The group has suspended its “Civil Resistance Campaign” but will continue from October 25th.
Deputy Police Chief Will Kerr said: “People who protest sometimes break the law in various ways that are not related to violence or disorder, such as blocking streets.
“Some disruptions are inevitable during the event. If someone causes significant disruption by deliberately blocking a major traffic route, officers can go through the various stages of our graduated response more quickly than in cases that cause minimal disruption. “
He said activists were responsible for protesting “within the law” and warned that “the small minority of people who may intend to create violent unrest or cause harm” would be treated quickly and forcefully.
About 10,000 officers are deployed each day during the global leaders’ meeting, with Scotland’s armed forces being reinforced by police from other parts of the UK.
It will be the largest police operation ever carried out in Scotland.
Scottish Police said officers from other parts of the UK will be “given detailed information about the style and tone of the police force before deploying”.
Mr. Kerr added: “Police Scotland is a rights-based organization and, under the European Convention on Human Rights, has a duty to protect the rights of those who protest peacefully or who wish to protest against the rights of the wider community.
“We will provide an adequate police response to all protests and have been working with well-known protest groups for some time to ensure that their rights to peaceful assembly and protest are respected.”