COP26: Riot training for thousands of police ahead of summit

COP26 police training
During the protest, police used riot shields against “protesters” wielding baseball bats.

BBC Scotland is reporting that thousands of police officers are being given riot training in the run-up to the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The global event, which will see world leaders arrive in the city this November, is expected to be policed by about 10,000 officers a day.

Specialist public order training is being given to thousands for what will be one of the biggest police operations the UK has seen.

Police Scotland said it would facilitate safe and peaceful protest.

Officers from around the UK will be deployed during the international conference, which is expected to attract protesters in large numbers.

During August and September, roughly 2,500 public order officers in Police Scotland are to be trained.

An exercise involving hundreds of officers was held at Cragiehall barracks near Edinburgh on Monday.

COP26 police training
Officers had no idea how the simulation was going to develop.

The simulation put police officers wearing riot gear into a real-time mock protest, with other officers playing the role of demonstrators from a group called “Destruction Uprising”.

The “protesters” took part in a sit-down demonstration outside a bank, which began peacefully before becoming more confrontational, with objects being thrown at a line of officers.

Mounted police were also used in the exercise, while the officers moved to disperse the group and use riot shields to defend against attackers with baseball bats.

‘Quite intimidating’

A group of politicians and campaigners were invited to the training day, with some taking part in the role of police or protesters.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon, left,  donned the boiler suit, helmet and body armour of a public order officer as she joined the police lines.

She told the PA news agency: “It’s heavy, it’s warm, I’m covered in egg and all sorts of things.

“But it’s been good to see what it’s like for the police in these sorts of situations.”

She added: “It was quite intimidating – having to eyeball protesters even though it was pretend.”

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