Scotland’s police officers ‘feel vulnerable to spontaneous violence’ and under-equipped to tackle terrorism, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) has claimed.
The SPF said there had to be a middle ground between sending unarmed or armed officers to incidents.
It published a Personal Protective Equipment survey of about 4,200 officers which suggested that many want to be able to carry handguns to protect themselves and the public.
The SPF said the findings exposed the fears of rank and file officers.
David Hamilton, vice chairman, said: “This survey shows the clear capability gap that police officers in Scotland currently have.
"Stretched budgets, low resource levels and an increased threat from criminality and terrorism is making our officers feel vulnerable and ill-equipped to keep people safe.
"Whilst we have some of the best specialist firearms resources in the world, it is the officers responding to day-to-day calls that are at the greatest risk from spontaneous violence.
"There is nothing in between. We go from nought to SWAT, a situation that must change."
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