Scotland’s new justice minister has called for “further clarity” on Donald Trump’s visit to Scotland in order to help police preparations for the event.
Humza Yousaf advised anyone planning to attend one of the several planned protests against the visit of the US president should do so “safely and peacefully”.
The minister today received a briefing by senior Police Scotland officers on how the force is preparing for the imminent arrival of the US President.
Mr Trump will touch down in the UK on Thursday and meet Theresa May as well as The Queen. He is expected to spend the weekend in Scotland at his Turnberry resort in Ayrshire.
Mr Yousaf, who took on the justice brief following a Scottish Government reshuffle last month, said the visit would have “significant operational implications” for Police Scotland.
Speaking after meeting with Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, Mr Yousaf said: “We understand that many people feel very strongly about President Trump and his administration’s policies, and will want to express that this weekend when he is in the country.
“That is why there are a number of organised protest locations across the country this weekend and I would urge people who want to exercise their right to demonstrate in those locations, to do so in a safe and peaceful manner.
“It is clear that President Trump’s visit will have significant operational implications for Police Scotland and planning has been taking place with partners for some time. I am confident that Police Scotland will provide a professional and effective policing response, keeping communities safe and facilitating peaceful protest.
“Further clarity around President Trump’s plans while visiting Scotland would greatly aid the planning that is being taken forward by our police and wider partners.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “The President’s visit to Scotland will require a significant policing operation, involving thousands of officers and specialist resources. As with the visit of any high profile head of state, detailed planning is already well underway.
“While the exact details of his programme are still being finalised, our objectives will be to ensure the safety of the President and of those travelling with him and to maintain public safety. In addition, we will work closely with any groups to facilitate lawful protest.
“As with any visit of this nature we do not disclose the specific details of the operational deployment.”