Military bases make armed police essential in Moray

Chief Inspector Willie Findlay

The existence of RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks makes the need for a limited number of police officers to routinely carry firearms essential in Moray.

That was the conclusion this week when the issue was discussed by the Police, Fire and Rescue Services Committee at Moray Council.

While there has been widespread controversy over the issue of routine police patrols including armed officers in the Highland region, it had not been an issue of any real debate in Moray.

As a result of the controversy Police Scotland have changed the way that armed officers are deployed, making it less likely that members of the public would see armed officers attending normal domestic issues.

However, councillors were told this week that there was a unique situation in Moray with the presence of the two military bases that dictated a need for the presence of routinely armed officers.

Moray Division Chief Inspector Willie Findlay said: “Moray is a safe place but we won’t be complacent and its a reassurance to know that we can call upon them (armed officers).

“We have two military bases in Moray and should they be a target they are there to respond.”

Chairing the meeting was Councillor Ron Shepherd, who told the P&J: “The Council agreed with everything in the papers and received no objections to it.

“We need police armed and can’t see anything wrong with it. They are highly trained officers – they used to have arms in locked boots. It is not easy for firearms officers to rush from Glasgow to Moray.”

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