Police pressed for answers over anti-monarchy protest arrests

Concerns were raised over actions taken by officers by politicians and human rights organisations.

Police Scotland pressed for answers over arrests following anti-monarchy protests STV News

Police Scotland has been pressed for answers over actions taken by officers in response to anti-monarchy protests.

Concerns were raised after arrests were made in Edinburgh last week for alleged breach of the peace offences as the Queen’s coffin was transported to St Giles’ Cathedral.

A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged after the Duke of York was heckled during a procession on the Royal Mile.

A woman was also charged in connection with allegedly holding an anti-monarchy banner outside of the cathedral.

Among the other arrests made, a 74-year-old was charged outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse and a 38-year-old man was arrested in the Duthie Park area of Aberdeen, having allegedly been “seen with eggs” in view of the cortege.

Following the arrests, Police Scotland faced criticism from politicians and from human rights organisations.

Police Scotland has said that chief constable Sir Iain Livingstone will provide an update on Operation Unicorn at the Scottish Police Authority Board meeting on September 29.

A spokesperson added: “We will respond to correspondence in due course”.

The Scottish Greens are writing to the chief constable to raise their concerns about the actions taken by Police Scotland.

Questions have also been tabled at the Scottish Parliament by the party’s MSP Maggie Chapman.

“We are aware of a number of concerning incidents involving Police Scotland and members of the public during events last week,” said Chapman.

“Given Scotland’s proud tradition of freedom of speech and peaceful protest, we are seeking urgent clarification as to what happened and why Police Scotland deemed it necessary to intervene in the way they did.

“With some proceedings remaining active, we are limited in what we can say. However, free speech and democracy are the very bedrock on which the Scottish Parliament was founded.

“Any action taken has to be appropriate and consistent with this founding principle.

“That is why I have tabled questions and am writing to Police Scotland as a matter of urgency.”

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