Police divers search river ahead of Cop26

·2 min read

Police divers are searching the River Clyde as part of the security operation in the run up to the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

The specialist officers, who can search in confined spaces as well as capture underwater footage, will be patrolling the river and its banks ahead of the United Nations summit which runs from October 31 to November 12.

During Cop26 itself Ministry of Defence Police will monitor the waterway providing a “24/7, armed policing presence” on the river, with assistance when required from Police Scotland divers.

Police Scotland urged anyone who sees anything unusual around Glasgow’s waterways to contact them.

Cop26 – Glasgow
The Ministry of Defence Police Marine Unit has been carrying out manoeuvres on the river (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Superintendent Stevie Irvine, Police Scotland Maritime Security lead for Cop26, 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.

“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 Scotland’s dive and marine unit is among a number of specialist resources that will be deployed during Cop26 as part of the security operation.

The River Clyde in Glasgow
Cop26 will start at the end of October (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The river will be subject to movement and mooring restrictions for around three weeks.

The Queen, Pope Francis and US president Joe Biden are among the high-profile figures expected to attend the event, and each member of the United Nations has been invited, meaning nearly 120 heads of state are expected to arrive along with about 20,000 accredited delegates.

Superintendent Sandy Stewart, of 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.”

All Police Scotland divers complete an eight week basic air dive course along with a number of other specialist courses such as licensed search officer, swift water rescue technician and confined space search officer, which is a crucial skill for Police Scotland in the lead up to Cop26.

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