Scottish police chief warns COP26 demonstrations could turn ‘messy’

·1-min read
COP26 follows climate protests in London on Friday (pictured)  (Getty Images)
COP26 follows climate protests in London on Friday (pictured) (Getty Images)

Authorities expect to have “messy” confrontations with activists seeking to disrupt COP26.

More than 190 world leaders are expected to attend the international climate conference in Glasgow along with tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, citizens and businesses.

Chief constable of Police Scotland Iain Livingstone admitted that officers will probably be forced to “physically engage” with those attempting to disrupt world leaders attending the climate conference in Glasgow.

Speaking at a press conference, he said: “There may well be attempts to disrupt or to prevent some of these movements. We are going to be doing everything we can to prevent that.”

He added that his officers would adopt “robust” measures in a bid to minimise public disorder amid heightened security fears.

He said: “We will take robust measures. It is absolutely crucial that world leaders can attend so that the conference actually takes place. I am confident that we will be able to deal with whatever arises. But I expect challenges.”

“Protest removal teams” were trained and prepared to use physical engagement, Livingstone said.

He admitted that he has briefed Nicola Sturgeon and other UK ministers that the situation “may well look quite messy”.

COP26 will start from tomorrow at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow.

It is part of the C40 Cities network, a group of nearly 100 major cities worldwide working for faster action on climate change.

Talks will run for 12 days from October 31 to November 12.

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