Police set to patrol Scots statues over vandalism fears

Officers will guard monuments with slavery links after a number were damaged during anti-racism protests across the UK.

Police set to patrol Scots statues over vandalism fears SNS
Vandalism fears: Police will patrol statues such as monument to Robert Dundas.

Police are set to patrol Scottish statues with slavery links after a number of monuments were vandalised across the UK.

Earlier this week, protesters in Bristol toppled a monument to slave trader Edward Colston as part of a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Many anti-racism campaigners are calling for the removal of controversial statues in Scotland, including monuments to former home secretary Henry Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville Robert Dundas and historian Thomas Carlyle.

Police Scotland said officers were aware of a “small number” of statues being damaged in recent days and confirmed all recent “criminal” acts of vandalism would be fully investigated.

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Assistant chief constable Kenny MacDonald also added officers would be patrolling around these monuments in the coming days in a bid to prevent any further damage. 

He said: “We are aware of a small number of events scheduled to take place this weekend, however our firm advice remains that people should find alternative ways to protest rather than attending mass gatherings, for example through digital means.

“I am aware that vandalism of a small number of monuments and statues has taken place in recent days.

“Such action is criminal and will be fully investigated.

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“Police officers will be providing additional patrolling around such monuments and statues in the coming days to deter such criminality.

“We understand that people want to make their voices heard, but they must do so lawfully and peacefully.

“We would encourage everyone to continue to follow the Scottish Government’s regulations and guidance to help the collective effort to protect the NHS and save lives.

“There will be an appropriate policing plan in place for the coming days and into the weekend.”