Parliament security chiefs working with cops on training programme for MSPs and staff on handling suspicious packages
HOLYROOD SECURITY TRAINING
MP, political party HQ and council building as well as two police bases were targeted within a matter of hours last month
HOLYROOD security chiefs are working with cops on a training programme on suspicious packages for MSPs after a spate of recent scares. An MP, political party HQ and council building as well as two police bases were targeted within a matter of hours last month with suspect packages in the mail.
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Police stationed outside Scottish Parliament
MSPs were put on alert1 after three items were delivered to SNP MP John Nicolson s office, a party base and an Angus Council building in 24 hours. Security officials at the Scottish Parliament sent advice to elected members after one of the packages was sent to the constituency office of Nicolson2 on Tuesday, May 25.
Now they are working with police to develop special training for MSPs and their staff on mail handling and suspicious packages.
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A Holyrood spokesman told the Scottish Sun: Parliament security staff are currently working with Police Scotland to develop a training package on mail handling and suspicious packages. Two days after the incident at Nicolson s office, cops revealed officers were scrambled to the Scottish Police Federation building in Glasgow and to the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, Fife after packages were delivered there. Two packages containing white powder were also delivered to an Angus Council building in Forfar.
The Municipal Buildings on Castle Street were closed off despite police saying the package poses no immediate threat to the public.
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Police car outside Holyrood
The contents of the package were described as white powder type substances and are related to the upcoming snap election in June. Cops have launched a major probe into the incidents. An email from Holyrood head of security Becky Thomson was circulated around MSPs with advice from cops.
In the email, she said: Dear Members, between Tuesday and Wednesday, three suspicious mail packages containing a white powder type substance were sent to an elected official, a political party headquarters and a council building.
All packages were associated with the forthcoming UK general election . Police Scotland s enquiries into this matter are ongoing.
We enclose a letter from Police Scotland with some further advice regarding mail handling, suspicious packages and indicators of white powder .
We would be grateful if you would take the time to review this information and discuss with your local office staff . The same information has been issued to all elected representatives across Scotland.
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In the context of heightened terror threat in the last few weeks and football coming directly in the firing line when the Borussia Dortmund team bus was attacked six days ago, fans can have few complaints with greater security outside stadiums to ensure their protection.
Manchester City were recently criticised after increased security measures at the Etihad Stadium have left fans queuing outside on numerous occasions, but the price to pay for safety can never be too much.
And it is because of that video footage of a security guard conducting what can only be described as less than thorough searches on people outside White Hart Lane before Tottenham’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth has gone viral.
In the video posted online by Twitter user Colin Rowland that has been retweeted by 8,800 others at the time of writing, a guard is seen barely even making contact with numerous fans as he conducts a very brief version of the usual pat down procedure.
That’s not to suggest there should be rigorous and invasive frisking of every supporter who enters every football stadium, but it would have incredibly easy for any one of those people to conceal a dangerous item and smuggle it into the stadium.
In a world where literally anyone could be a terrorist wishing to inflict damage and hurt on their fellow humans, it would be comforting to know that security and safety is being taken as seriously as possible.
A former soldier who completed two tours of Iraq has been ordered to pay more than 700 after he admitted stealing 300 from New Cross Hospital.
Father-of-three Lee Rowlands, aged 30, of Evans Street, Whitmore Reans, pleaded guilty at Walsall Magistrates’ court on Thursday after being charged with theft by an employee. The court heard how Rowlands, who previously spent six years in the army and completed two tours of Iraq, stole 300 from an unsecured safe at the car parking security office of New Cross Hospital. He was working as a security supervisor at the time. He was ordered by magistrate Mrs Jayne Heathcote to pay a fine of 250, down from 375 for his early guilty plea, costs of 185, compensation to the NHS of 300 and a victim surcharge of 30, totalling 765. The theft took place between February 1 and March 5 this year when Rowlands was working in the security office. The unsecured safe contained money collected from parking passes given out to those working at the hospital. The court heard how CCTV installed in the security office was angled to cover the safe, but would only reveal the person s back. When Mr Rowlands colleagues realised money had not been accounted for, they installed an additional camera when he was on annual leave. This camera showed Mr Rowlands take 40 from the safe .
He was arrested and interviewed at Wolverhampton Central Police Station on March 13 where he admitted taking the money and he had stolen 300 in total from February. Ms Rachel Smith, prosecuting, said: It was confirmed there was 40 in the safe before Rowlands was seen on camera removing something from the safe . The 40 was not there when it was checked after his visit. Defending Rowlands, Mr Nayan Patel said: He admits he is suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder following his two tours of Iraq. Rowlands is currently suspended from work, where the court heard, he continues to earn 1,000 a month, though his contract is expected to be terminated following his appearance in court.