SCOTLAND'S Chief Constable is facing questions after a National journalist was threatened with arrest by an officer.

Xander Elliards was covering a protest which saw clashes between the police and protesters at the Thales site in Govan.

The journalist was standing roughly 100m from the demonstration when he was confronted by an officer who claimed he was being “obstructive to the police”.

Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens parliamentary justice spokesperson, has now written to Jo Farrell with questions about the incident.

The full letter can be read below.

Dear Chief Constable,

Re: Policing of protests and freedom of the press

I am writing to you in my capacity as the Scottish Greens' Parliamentary Justice spokesperson regarding the video published by the National newspaper on social media yesterday. The video shows an interaction between a journalist covering a protest outside a Glasgow arms factory and a police officer.

In light of this incident, I am seeking urgent replies from Police Scotland to the following questions:

  • What measures have been put in place to ensure that police are protecting the right to free speech by protestors, and the freedom of the press?
  • What training have the officers policing these protests received to ensure that they are not violating the rights of individuals participating in protest or those of journalists reporting on the same in the public interest?
  • What actions are being taken by Police Scotland in relation to this incident and to wider concerns about the way in which this protest was policed, in light of the principle of policing by consent?

I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

Maggie Chapman