Referendum countdown: Police change rest days for poll

Police are expecting a busy referendum day

Police are expecting a busy referendum day

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Police Scotland has re-scheduled rest days for officers amid fears a high voter turnout could lead to long queues outside polling stations.

The force denied reports all annual leave had been scrapped, but said some officers would have rest days planned for the day of the vote moved.

Senior figures within the police are understood to be concerned a large turnout, particularly later in the evening, could put pressure on polling stations. Police Scotland refused to comment on its plans for tomorrow, but it is understood there will be a bigger police presence than normal at many polling places. There was anger and protests when voters were turned away from polling stations during the 2010 General Election after a larger than expected turnout at towns and cities across the UK.

Superintendent Jim Baird said Police Scotland was not cancelling annual leave for officers on 18 and 19 September.

“The referendum is a significant event which is expected to attract a higher than normal turnout,” he said. “Policing arrangements for the referendum are well in hand and will be appropriate.”