Personal protective equipment to be rolled out to front-line police officers

By Conor Riordan, PA Scotland
·2-min read

Front-line police officers in local divisions across Scotland are expected to begin receiving equipment to protect them from Covid-19 next week.

More than 630 officers have already received personal protective equipment (PPE) including FFP3 masks, gloves, boot covers and goggles.

It is anticipated an extended roll-out of fitting, training and issuing of kit will be under way next week across all local policing divisions as well as within specialist services on a 24/7 basis.

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “Our officers are playing a vital role in keeping people safe at this extraordinary time and we want them to have the right protective equipment to enable them to do their jobs with confidence.

“We have had several teams working continuously on procuring and distributing vital supplies to staff and these are being issued across priority areas, with significant orders for more items including masks, goggles and gloves scheduled for delivery over the coming days and weeks.

“The procurement of available PPE is a key piece of work being undertaken in challenging circumstances due to exceptional levels of demand and we are streamlining and simplifying the process where possible.

“We are working with the Scottish Government and partners, and at a UK level, to ensure required PPE is delivered as quickly as possible.”

The team co-ordinating the Police Scotland response to coronavirus has been working to secure, order, receive and distribute the appropriate equipment.

Officers across operational support units, border policing, custody and in some rural areas have already received the PPE.

The flexible response unit is likely to be deployed across the country in possession of full kit to support operational officers at the weekend, according to the force.

Scottish Greens justice spokesman John Finnie MSP, a former police officer, said: “We have seen delays getting PPE to frontline staff across our emergency services, it is vital that these delays are tackled urgently so those who need this equipment have it readily available.

“I would also urge the Justice Secretary to ensure that testing is rolled out to those officers who are currently self-isolating, ensuring that every officer who is fit can be at their post.”