Training and interaction between Police: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Information/communications/documents regarding any contact between Keith Brown, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, his Special Advisors and Civil Servants and Police Scotland regarding cooperation, training and interaction between Police Scotland and the Colombian Police, security services and Government.

You ask that communications should include email, letters, notes of phone conversations, whatsapp messages, texts and or any other digital communications. Information relating to meetings should include Pre-meeting briefing(s), Agendas, Minutes, or notes from meetings and any Post meeting action points.


I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested. Under section 10(1) of FOISA our response was due on 1 August 2022. Unfortunately it took longer than expected to deal with your request. I apologise for this delay.

Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under the following regulations apply:

Section 38(1)(b): Personal information. Section 30(c) substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs in relation to communications with external stakeholders. Section 25(1): Information otherwise accessible. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in ANNEX A to this letter.

With the exception of the information covered by the sections outlined above we have released all information within scope of your request, found during our search. This is provided at ANNEX B to this letter. They are ;

Annex B – Records of the contact between those within scope of the request, including documents that are relevant to your inquiry. This includes all categories of communication between Scottish Government and Police Scotland within the scope of your request. You will note that some of the documents at Annex B have been redacted in accordance with any relevant exemption caveat that we are obliged to adhere to.

Furthermore, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold some the information you have requested regarding cooperation, training and interaction between Police Scotland and the Colombian Police, security services and Government as this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable for Police Scotland. You may wish to contact; Police Scotland FOI mailbox at who may be able to help you further.

Embedded within our reply are documents you may wish to access via your own open source searches such as the Report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the Human Rights situation in Colombia.

It may be helpful for you to examine the UK Parliamentary Question referred to in our correspondence between officials and Police Scotland that highlights the FCDO written question on what training the UK has provided to the Colombian Police Force. Particularly the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron, or Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD).

You may find it useful to view the subsequent Scottish Parliamentary written questions from Mercedes Villalba MSP from 12 May 2022, regarding this topic. S6W-08320, S6W-08321 & S6W-08322. You may also be interested to note that Police Scotland has delivered three online workshops with officers in Colombia, focusing on violence prevention approaches in Glasgow and community engagement approaches in Edinburgh. More details may be found on the Police Scotland website.

The Scottish Police Authority, (SPA) can also provide you with information on guidance & detail that outlines the SPA’s role in the approval process for international/overseas projects and training programmes undertaken by Police Scotland. This includes details of any role the SPA has in ongoing monitoring and evaluation of Police Scotland's international/overseas projects and training programmes. This information is included in their FOI Response dated 11 February 2022.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information, which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202200299604 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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