Green MSP Patrick Harvie is welcoming the announcement of reviews into the controversial routine arming of police officers.

The reviews are being carried out by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

Mr Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"These reviews are a welcome response to the growing public and political pressure. The police do need to deploy firearms in response to serious incidents, but the sight of armed police on our streets while carrying out routine duties has alarmed many Scots and we deserve to know why it happened and why our communities were not consulted.

"To date the Justice Secretary has brushed this issue off as an operational matter but I believe there is a strong case for ministers being held to account on this dramatic change in our policing culture. Greens opposed the merger of Scotland's police forces, warning of centralised decisions that didn't reflect local needs. If the firearms policy isn't challenged it will represent a major failure of accountability."