IN FEBRUARY, we asked the public and our officers and staff for their views on armed police officers using body worn video (BWV) cameras.

Almost 9,000 people, including more than 1,000 officers and staff, took part in the survey, with the majority believing the use of BWV would increase trust and confidence in the police and make them feel safer.

We are making good progress in our plan to equip armed police officers with BWV in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November.

This is an important step in bringing our armed policing teams in line with other armed policing teams in the UK.

In East Lothian, we do not routinely deploy armed officers but, should an incident occur that requires an armed response, these officers could be present in the county.

This pilot will inform whether we start to increase the use of BWV to frontline officers in the county.

We strongly believe the introduction of BWV cameras would provide additional transparency and accountability when police officers and staff are carrying out their duties.

It is also a vital tool in increasing officer safety and helping to secure convictions against those who choose to carry out attacks on members of Police Scotland which, sadly, are rising.

With this in mind, we have launched a national 12-week public consultation on providing BWV cameras to more police officers and staff across Scotland.

I recognise how important it is to engage with our communities and gain confidence in how we use technology and introduce such significant change to policing in Scotland.

With this in mind, could I ask that you take part in our survey? Your views are extremely valuable to us and will be used to inform and shape guidance and training for police officers. Go to

Last weekend saw end-of-school-exam parties across the county and I was delighted that this went without incident.

I had the rare opportunity to get out on patrol with frontline officers and saw first-hand how my officers and our young people engaged.

It’s been a really tough year for all but in particular for school leavers, with all the uncertainty.

I spent quite a bit of time talking to them and gaining an understanding of some of the challenges they have faced and how different their end of year has been in comparison to previous years.

We have recently set up a group of key individuals across a wide variety of partners to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to support our young people.

I am really pleased with how this is progressing and am confident that the work of this group will filter through quickly and improve the well-being of all as we continue through and recover from the pandemic.

I hope you are all enjoying the warm weather and let’s hope this continues for a while so we can enjoy the outstanding beaches and parks. Please continue to follow the Scottish Governments guidance for Covid and look after yourselves and your families.