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In a little-noticed move, a small number of police officers are now routinely carrying sidearms while on patrol in much of Scotland - the first in the UK outside Northern Ireland to do so. How did this come about, and does it alter the relationship between the constabulary and the public?
Saturday night in Inverness. Outside a McDonald's restaurant, a scuffle between two men breaks out. Three police officers arrive to intervene. So far, so mundane.
Except that strapped around the hips of each of the policemen approaching the brawl is a holstered Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.
It's a sight that once would have been unthinkable. In this corner of the Scottish Highlands - an area with one of the lowest crime rates in the UK - the officers showing up to a relatively workaday disturbance are armed.
Although every police force has a firearms unit, for decades it has been an article of faith that in the mainland UK, almost uniquely among major industrialised nations, the police do not carry guns as a matter of course.
But with little fanfare at first, a policy of routinely allowing specialist officers to wear sidearms as they walk the streets of Scotland has come into being.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28656324
Shame really.... You'd think mankind would grow up. Not go backwards.......