Last Friday morning two colleagues in Greenock attended what was, on the face of it, a routine call attended by many officers across Scotland and not unusual in Falkirk.
However, on this occasion, they faced a high risk situation which resulted in both being injured by a male with a knife.
Assistance soon arrived from other officers but, unfortunately, the first two officers sustained injuries which required hospital treatment. This was widely reported in the media and I am aware that the officers and colleagues who attended are overwhelmed with the level of public support for their brave actions. Every day police officers face such unexpected situations and never know what the next call is or how the call will develop. Thankfully there are only a few incidents which result in such a level of violence being presented but all officers are trained in how to deal with these emerging threats. In addition to their training, all officers are issued with personal protection equipment which includes body armour, baton and handcuffs. As risks are assessed and developed equipment is reviewed and new equipment added. Last week the first batch of specially trained officers were provided with and are routinely carrying Taser. Officers from Falkirk have attended this training and this week saw the first routine deployment in our communities. These officers work 24/7 response shifts and while the numbers so far are small they have been deployed across all the groups working in Falkirk to provide assistance where needed. This is a welcome addition to the protection available and over time the community will see more officers working in the Falkirk area all in an effort to keep themselves and their communities safe.