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Police begin patrols of the River Clyde ahead of COP26

Waterways are being searched by specialist officers from Police Scotland’s Dive and Marine Unit.

Security patrols of the River Clyde have begun ahead of the COP26 climate talks in November.

World leaders and thousands of delegates and officials are expected to attend the global summit at the SEC.

The gathering will require the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen.

With just over a month to go, waterways are being searched by specialist officers from Police Scotland’s Dive and Marine Unit.

Superintendent Stevie Irvine is Police Scotland Maritime Security lead for COP26.

He said: “Our specially trained divers will patrol and search the River Clyde, particularly restricted areas, in the run up to COP26. 

“This is a historic event, with one of the biggest mobilisation of police assets the UK has ever seen, and that means some restrictions are needed to help keep participants, visitors and members of the public safe. 

“Any protest activity in or around the waterways during COP26 will be met with a proportionate policing response which balances the needs and rights of those wishing to take part, against the safety and wellbeing of protesters. 

'Safe and secure'


“This is all part of our work to support the delivery of a safe and secure event and we would ask that if you spot anything unusual in or around the waterways - report it to the police.

“Trust your instincts if you see something that doesn’t seem right.”�

Police divers begin searches of the waterways around the SEC. Photo: Police Scotland
Police divers begin searches of the waterways around the SEC. Photo: Police Scotland

During COP26, the Ministry of Defence Police will monitor a four-mile stretch of river through the city.

Superintendent Sandy Stewart, Ministry of Defence Police, said: “Our marine unit officers will be supporting the Police Scotland operation for COP26, providing a 24/7, armed policing presence on the River Clyde and ensuring compliance with the legal restrictions put in place, to deliver a safe and secure event for all involved.”

Any protest activity in or around the waterways during COP26 will be met with a proportionate policing response which balances the needs and rights of those wishing to take part, against the safety and wellbeing of protesters

Superintendent Stevie Irvine

The dive and marine unit has six boats and specialise in security searches, missing person searches and the recovery of evidence. 

Their high-speed patrol boats can respond quickly to incidents or threats on the waters in and around Scotland. 

Patrol boats will help to enforce restricted areas ahead of talks. Photo: Police Scotland
Patrol boats will help to enforce restricted areas ahead of talks. Photo: Police Scotland
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