POLICE Scotland has warned that a no-deal Brexit could leave parts of the country “vulnerable” with bosses forced to redeploy officers to deal with the “numerous” consequences of crashing out of Europe.

The stark warning came on the same day as Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said leaving the EU and the joint legal frameworks agreed across the bloc could potentially “put the public at risk”.

There are now 91 days left until the UK leaves the EU, and, currently, no sign of any consensus in Parliament on what to do next.

In November, at the last meeting of the Scottish Police Authority, the Chief Constable, Iain Livingston, said the force had prepared a Scottish Impact Assessment on Brexit for the National Police Chiefs Council’s work on “planning and preparation for the UK withdrawal from the European Union”.

Yesterday, the force rejected a freedom of information request for the report as the information would reveal “where resources may or may not be deployed” and would allow “criminals and terrorists the ability to assess the capability of Police Scotland in response to any scenario created by ‘Brexit’”.

In their rejection letter, the force admitted that the report did identify areas as “vulnerable”.

Sharing that information, they said, would be a boon for criminals and leave communities terrified.

“As the whole country is affected by the impending exit for the European Union, the health and safety of the community at large would be compromised by disclosure of the information, enabling offenders to target their criminal activities to areas identified as vulnerable, which could lead to members of the community suffering from stress, anxiety or physical injury.”

The National:

Police Scotland Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone

In a statement, Police Scotland’s Livingstone told The National: “The consequences of Brexit for policing are numerous and not just confined to additional needs relating to ports and borders.

“No-one is able to predict with confidence what additional challenges will result, but it would be negligent not to make some contingency plans.‎”

Earlier this month, Calum Steele, from the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), wrote to MSPs warning them about what frontline cops believed those consequences could be.

In his letter, Steele said Brexit was set to make 2019 the busiest year for the single force, and that it would struggle to carry out basic crime-fighting tasks unless the Government allocated money to recruit more officers.

He said Scottish constables would likely be diverted to give “mutual aid” to forces in England, Ireland and Wales, and that there would probably be an “unavoidable uplift in police officers in Border policing” as well as increased pressure on roads and ports, as well as “the potential for civil disobedience”.

The SPF chief said Brexit was already consuming resources at the over-stretched service, with officers “currently working beyond their limits” and facing considerable new burdens.

He told MSPs that “the police service of Scotland has no spare capacity.”

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Meanwhile, Dick said a no-deal exit would threaten access to EU-wide criminal databases and make it harder to extradite people from abroad.

She told the BBC’s Today programme the Met was talking to other police forces across Europe about contingency arrangements.

After Brexit, the UK will cease to be a member of law enforcement agencies Europol and Eurojust, and will no longer be a member of of the European arrest warrant scheme.

The commissioner said the UK’s policing co-operation with the EU was based on a framework of “legal instruments”.

“We will have to replace some of the things we currently use in terms of access to databases, the way in which we can quickly arrest and extradite people, these kinds of things, we’ll have to replace as effectively as we can.

“That will be more costly, undoubtedly, slower, undoubtedly and, potentially, yes, put the public at risk.”