POLICE Scotland is investigating at least one count of “heavy-handed policing” of protesters during the events following the Queen’s death, a minister has said.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said Police Scotland would perform an internal debrief on Operation Unicorn – the Government and police plans for handling the death of the Queen in Scotland – and added that the Scottish Police Authority would discuss this with the force.

While he said he was bound by the law not to comment on operational matters, which are a matter for the Chief Constable, the force was investigating at least one incident.

Katy Clark, Scottish Labour’s community safety spokesperson, said that media reports had suggested “heavy-handed policing” amid the operation to oversee the transport of the Queen’s body from Balmoral where she died to London by way of Edinburgh, where she was laid in St Giles’ Cathedral for a short period.

The West of Scotland MSP said police had detained a number of people who were later released without charge and that officers “followed” a woman who had been protesting for free speech.

Brown said: “[Police Scotland] have confirmed that there will be a formal debrief process for Operation Unicorn and I understand that Operation Unicorn will be discussed at the Scottish Police Authority board later this month – the appropriate forum for doing that.

“I also understand that this will include reviewing at least one of the incidents that took place while the operation was active.”

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He said he would meet with the Chief Constable on Thursday and he would discuss the concerns brought up by the policing of protests following the Queen’s death and Charles’s accession to the throne.

Police Scotland were “very open and accountable in many ways”, Brown added, suggesting that other MSPs with concerns should contact the force directly to raise issues.

It comes after a number of arrests were made as the Queen’s body was toured around Scotland before heading to England for her funeral.

Among breach of the peace cases, police charged a man for allegedly shouting abuse at Prince Andrew, another for allegedly holding eggs near the funeral cortege, while one woman was charged after she was seen carrying a sign that read “F*** imperialism. Abolish the monarchy” among a crowd of mourners.

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Questions have now been raised about the proportionality of the police's actions in dealing with republican protesters.

Concerns were raised across the political spectrum on Wednesday with Alex Cole-Hamilton saying he was worried the actions of police were at odds with a free and democratic society.

Greens MSP Maggie Chapman has written to Chief Constable Iain Livingston about the incidents and suggested she felt the force had failed in its duty to “protect the rights of all people in Scotland, not just those in leadership positions”.  

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "The Chief Constable will provide an update on Operation Unicorn at the Scottish Police Authority Board meeting on September 29.

"We will respond to correspondence in due course.”