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International Situation (Contingency Planning)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:33 pm on 19th March 2003.

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Photo of Richard Simpson Richard Simpson Labour 2:33 pm, 19th March 2003

The First Minister mentioned the Scottish police information co-ordination centre. Does he agree that, in monitoring tension in communities, the police should do all in their power to protect Sikh communities in Scotland who, because of their beards and turbans, are sometimes wrongly identified as terrorists by a misguided few?

Further to that, will the First Minister discuss with law officers the need to ensure that, if any attacks occur on groups or individuals in the minority population, those attacks will be the subject of swift and strong justice? Finally, will he ask police constables to call together their ethnic advisory committees—which are now present in six out of eight forces—to be consulted at an early point in the monitoring of tensions in the community?