Brexit will have “significant implications” for policing in Scotland, police have warned.
Police Scotland has set up a team to consider these implications and ensure that it is engaged in the debate with law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the UK, the Scottish Police Authority has heard.
However, there is no evidence of any increase in hate crime in Scotland since the Brexit vote, in contrast to the position south of the border.
DCC Iain Livingstone told the SPA: “The reality for us is that we have an increasingly international profile within Scotland to police.
“So, in terms of offenders and victims, there are a number of people from beyond Scotland and beyond the UK, the vast majority of whom who are from Europe.
“The initiatives, the criticality of the European Arrest Warrant, our ability to share intelligence through Europol, the fact that we have a dedicated officer who works in Europol so they can make contact with all key partners such as the Spanish, the Dutch, and as one individual provide a conduit for the whole organisation.
“So there will be consequences. Clearly if we are going to move from Europe and there are changes to free movement of capital and free movement of people and workers, that inevitably will have implications for policing.
“We’ve identified that and we have an individual involved at a senior level who is linking in with some of the work that is being driven across the UK, because there will be implications for policing across the UK as a whole, but there will be some specifics for Scotland as well.
“The political context is clearly extremely dynamic, and we need to remain attuned to that so we’re looking very specifically about some of the issues that will impact on the single service that we are.
“We’re not just sitting there wondering what might happen – we’re developing contingency plans to address some of the issues which may be as a consequence of exit.”