By a Newsnet reporter

An SNP MSP is demanding to know how additional costs for policing and security at Glasgow Prestwick Airport will be met when this year's London Olympics officially opens.

Glasgow Prestwick is presently designated as the sole UK airport to which flights regarded as possible terrorist threats are to be diverted during the games.

In December it emerged that Strathclyde police were preparing to deploy a round-the-clock presence at the Ayrshire airport in anticipation of dangerous flights being detected by UK intelligence.

Planes thought to contain bombs or believed to be under threat from hijackers will land at Prestwick instead of London’s Stansted.  The cost of footing the police bill will fall on Scottish taxpayers.

Chic Brodie, SNP MSP for South Scotland, has said that while Scotland’s police forces are willing and capable to meet the demands that will help make security watertight at Prestwick Airport, financial assurances from Westminster must be forthcoming.

He said:

"I am fully supportive of the Olympic Games being held in London, however, there are some pertinent issues regarding the cost of policing and additional security in Scotland which must be addressed by the UK Government.

"Round the clock security will be required at Prestwick Airport for at least that period and preparing to pull police from all parts of Scotland at a moment’s notice to Prestwick for a possible incident will have costs.

"Can the UK Government confirm that funding will come from the Olympic Pot - which recently managed to provide an incremental £49 million for the opening ceremony - thus preventing any additional burden on the council tax payers of Strathclyde.

"There will be potential disruption to the airport's commercial operation and additional compensation must also be taken into consideration."

It emerged last year that an extra £41m is to be spent on the London Olympics opening ceremony in order to bolster security.  It includes an estimated 800 Scottish police officers who will be drafted in to help their southern counterparts.

The extra cost to Scottish taxpayers has been criticised.  There is already a £1.2 million burden on Glasgow for having to host some of the game's football matches at Hampden.  It comes at a time when Scottish forces are facing cuts of around £4 million.


# Lamplighter 2012-03-02 09:00
Once upon a time, Prestwick Airport had its own dedicated full-time police presence stationed there, supplied by British Airports Authority Constabulary.
But now, a couple of guys drive out to the airport from Ayr only when a plane's coming in.

Maybe, to save money, any terrorist-risk aircraft should be diverted to an airport nearer London - it is their Olympics after all. Do we really want their terrorists?
# ButeHouse 2012-03-02 12:52
May I refer you once again to this simple but accurate adage:

England's problems are Britain's problems and must be shared

England's assets are England's and must be preserved e.g. Wimbledon, no UK rotation there for the big tennis prize

Scotland's problems are Scotland's BUT

Scotland's assets are British and must be shared e.g. Golf major tournaments are not hogged by Scotland but rotated round the UK. (did I mention Oil, Gas, Renewables, Whisky......?)

Wimbledon's roof cost more than the LTA has given to Scottish tennis in the history of the game.

On the other hand it's not as if Scots are the best players in the UK.

And when a foreigner of any talent emigrates to the UK and gets their British nationality how is it that they always seem to end up playing for ENGLAND? It's almost as if British = English.

# alicmurray 2012-03-02 10:08
Another benefit of the union no wonder they can't live without us. We should shut all Scottish airports to any dubious English planes.
# J Wil 2012-03-02 10:24
I expect they (we) will be whistling in the wind to get anything out of that.

Apart from potential casualties, what happens if there is a major incident with a terrorist plane damaging the airport or anything else en route?

We know from the US experience that this is not beyond the realms of possibility. A triple signed contract in advance would be appropriate.

This is just another example of how Scotland is used by Westminster for such things, whilst getting very few other benefits from the games. On a par was their attempts to store nuclear waste here so that in the case of an accident the minimum numer of people would be damaged - only Scots included - (partly successful in the case of Dalgety Bay), and also to move their excrement to be dumped in Scotland (not successful, as far as we know).

For these generous services they provide, they demand take all of the revenues from North Sea oil and all of the revenues from the Crown Estates.

When it comes down to it, it was Westminster's foreign policy decisions which brought as to this terrorist threat, mostly against the wishes of the Scots.
# Fungus 2012-03-02 10:52
On a more personal note, I live under a flightpath into Prestwick, I take it if some fanatic decides to make a point I should be happy to sacrifice myself and my family for the greater good of the Surrey stock broker belt?
# jurist 2012-03-02 14:54
Slightly OT
As an Ayrshireman, I want the airport called Prestwick Airport again (it's nowhere near Glasgow) and drop the horrible "Pure dead brilliant". Rant over, now back to work!!!
# Jester 2012-03-02 18:14
Sad to see the SFA grubbing around for few quid by hosting the games, while refusing to take part in team GB. Incidentally some London based workers are being paid an "Olympic allowance". Will Scots with a similar role get anything?
# lumilumi 2012-03-02 21:58
It's only logical that any suspect terrorist flights will be directed to Prestwick. Great Britain's nuclear WMD are only a stone's throw away across the Clyde.

Another wonderful union divident for the Scots.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-02 22:03
Perhaps they are planning to take suspected terrorists on a guided tour of the nuclear facility to view the "goods". After all did I not read that the missiles will be put up for sale on E-Bay post Independence!
# alicmurray 2012-03-02 22:06

Going offline but see the latest crazy idea from down south - we just have to get away.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-02 22:09
Let's hope A.S. can ram this idea down the unionists throats as often as possible between now and 2014!
# alicmurray 2012-03-02 22:15
This is the end of holidaying in England.
# tartanfever 2012-03-02 22:29
Got to keep an eye on this one and see what labour's response is. After criticisms north of the border from lamont etc on proposals here for one force, if labour were to back this then that may provide lamont with a difficult situation on how policy could differ from her masters down south.

And we all know how good lamont is at naming policy !

Reading some of the comments on the Guardian website, I loved this one from 'balopich'

right, that does it. i've had enough of this f***ing bu****it. i'm moving to scotland.

He got 255 'recommends' for it !
# lumilumi 2012-03-02 22:44
Hi Alic!
I think I replied to this same thing on another thread but I'll voice my fears here as well.

Imagine a mainly privately run police force. Accountable not to the civic society it's supposed to serve and protect, but to its shareholders. Or, worse still, policing taken over by organised crime. Because that would happen. No need to bribe the polis anymore, just buy the company, simples.

Scotland, get out while you can!!!!
# alicmurray 2012-03-02 22:52
Hi sorry for posting twice but I wanted you all to see it. I could hardly credit how bad this would be. I would genuinely be afraid to live in England with privatisation of the police.
# lumilumi 2012-03-02 23:26
Don't be sorry for posting this thing twice because it's a prospect too scary to contemplate. The people of Scotland (and rUK) should be made aware of these crazy ideas.

I agree. I would be afraid to live in any country that had private, capitalist police. Policing is one of the fundamental cornerstones of civic society, I thought it a monopoly of the state. If that is for sale... Well, what hope do ordinary people or democracy have?
# megsmaw 2012-03-04 18:32
This terrifying story reminds me of something...

The OCP in Robocop anyone?
# ianab63 2012-03-08 16:43
Maybe wasteminster and the olympic mob have arranged for John Smeaton to be transfered to Prestwick during the games.I am a Scot currently living in London and since the anouncment of this farce in 2007, I have been (along with all the other mugs in London) paying £12 per month, added to council tax for this farce.
I could tell you loads of draconian by-laws that are being passed to facilitate this waste of money.

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