Scottish Police Help English Forces

Scottish police officers are being deployed to areas in England following rioting across the country.

David Steele, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos), confirmed that officers will be travelling to the Midlands and north of England over the course of the day.

He said equipment and vehicles, as well as extra manpower, were being sent from all eight of Scotland's forces.

Mr Steele said, "This involves all of our forces, not just one.

The situation is being constantly monitored between the Acpos and colleagues in England and any further assistance required will be given careful consideration.''

Last night, hundreds of people were arrested as violence, which started four nights ago in London, swept across England.

The violence and looting has spread to cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham.

West Midlands Police launched a murder inquiry following the deaths of three men who were hit by a car in Winson Green at 1am.

Trouble also erupted in areas including Liverpool, Salford, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Bristol and Gloucester.

Around 16,000 police officers were on patrol in London, which resulted in a quieter night in the city, with 81 arrests, taking the total detained by Scotland Yard since Saturday night to 768.

First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland is ready to help police colleagues in England, but reassured people that forces will still have "the capacity to deal with any situation which might arise in Scotland''.

Mr Salmond added that the Government is staying vigilant in case violence spreads further north and breaks out in Scotland.

He said, "We are not complacent. We have already had resilience meetings of the Government over the last few days.

We know we have a different society in Scotland. One of my frustrations yesterday was to see the events being described as riots in the UK.

Until such time we do have a riot in Scotland, what we are seeing are riots in London and across English cities.

It is actually unhelpful to see them inaccurately presented because one of the dangers we face in Scotland is copycat action.''