MSPs offered panic alarms for security in wake of Jo Cox murder

Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016. Picture: PA Wire
Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016. Picture: PA Wire
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MSPs and their staff are being offered personal panic alarms in recognition of the threat they face on a “day-to-day basis” in the wake of the murder of Jo Cox.

In a message to all MSPs, Scottish Parliament security staff said the death of the Labour MP in 2016 had prompted a major review of the possible dangers faced by politicians.

As part of this, Parliament has spent £14,000 on “lone worker devices” which track a person’s movements and send an alert if they do not check in.

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Following a pilot last year, the alarms are now available to all MSPs on request and can also be used by their staff, many of whom often work alone in constituency offices.

“Jo Cox’s death made us all look again at Members’ safety and the threat, regrettably, that elected representatives face on a day-to-day basis,” the message from security officials said. “Over the past year, the [Scottish Parliament] Corporate Body has funded numerous security enhancements to local offices based on Police Scotland advice, and it has also made available lone worker devices for members and their staff.

“We will continue to work with the Corporate Body and members to assess what further services can be provided to support personal safety.”