Panic alarms offered to councillors following death of MP David Amess

East Lothian Council have offered 22 staff members the GPS-tracked devices following the MP's alleged murder.

Panic alarms offered to councillors following death of MP David Amess © Google Maps 2020 / UK Parliament via Website
Panic alarms: Local councillors offered GPS-tracked devices.

Panic alarms are being offered to East Lothian councillors following the death of MP Sir David Amess.

Security surrounding elected councillors is under review across the country with police offering one on one briefings to local members concerned about their safety.

East Lothian Council said all of its 22 councillors were being offered panic alarms, which were first introduced by the local authority after the death of MP Jo Cox five years ago.

The alarms carry a GPS tracking device so they can be found as soon as they activate them.

Advertisement

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “It is imperative that elected representatives are able to engage with their constituents in as safe and accessible a way as possible.

“We recognise there is concern around the country about this matter. While many meetings and engagements continue to be carried out remotely at this time, we will be re-issuing guidance to elected members on personal safety while on-line briefings from Police Scotland will also be offered.

“Personal alarms continue to be available for elected members.”

The security review was sparked after Sir David was stabbed to death during a surgery with local constituents at his Southend ward last week.

Advertisement

His death raised questions about the safety of elected members as they meet with residents.

In Midlothian Council police issued advice to its 18 councillors over the weekend and a spokesperson said further briefings were being offered by Police Scotland.

At a virtual meeting of Midlothian’s cabinet this week, councillors stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Sir David.

Councillor Jim Muirhead, depute leader, said: “By all accounts Sir David was a decent and caring man who was well respected right across the political spectrum and who was attacked while making himself available to assist his constituents with their problems.

“It is a sad and tragic situation indeed.”

Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Marie Sharp