HUNDREDS of Scottish police officers will be put on standby to deal with possible public disorder in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Around 360 police in Scotland will be ready to be deployed from the middle of next month in preparation for Brexit day on March 29.

As well as being able to be used in Scotland the officers will be available and ready to travel if they are needed elsewhere in the UK, like at sea ports or airports if there is serious disruption or large-scale protests take place on the streets.

Similarly, police from other UK forces will be ready to be sent to Scotland to bolster numbers if needed.

A special control centre will be set up at the Bilston Glen Control Room in Midlothian to co-ordinate the response to any public disorder.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr, said: “This is purely a contingency at this stage and part of our planning to allow us to give officers the required notice about changes to their shifts under police regulations.

"These officers will be deployed to local policing duties when not required for policing purposes related to Brexit.

“We have taken this decision so that we have enhanced capacity to respond to greater policing demands during this period. Our principle focus is, and will remain, the safety of the citizens of Scotland.”

Police have been recruiting an extra 100 officers this year and plans to cut officer numbers by 300 have been cancelled.

Police said the contingency planning was to deal with “reasonable worst case scenarios” if the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place.

DCC Kerr added: We are currently planning for a variety of possible scenarios, including potential disruption around Scottish sea and air ports, and protest events, to wider challenges across the UK leading to potential public disorder, which could lead to mutual aid requests from other police services in the UK.

“The Chief Constable has made it very clear that we will respond to such requests, particularly in relation to Northern Ireland, but any request will always be considered against the needs of policing in Scotland.”

Susan Deacon, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said: “These contingency plans can give the public confidence that our police service is well prepared to deal with the potential implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.”