Police should have more powers to deal with demonstrations involving just two or more people to curb small but volatile demonstrations, a new report has suggested.

Senior officers and councils are concerned about disorder from demonstrations by right wing groups like the Scottish Defence League.

A report into parades and marches for the Scottish Government has suggested following England in giving police powers over public assembly of two or more people.

In Scotland the legal definition is 20 or more people and anything less is dealt with under common law breach of the peace.

The report recommends: “Some consideration should be given by the Scottish Government as to whether a change in the legal definition of a ‘public assembly’ would have a positive impact on Police Scotland’s powers to deal with demonstrations where public order is threatened.”

The increase in such protests and counter demonstrations in recent years has led to concerns they are difficult to impose conditions on, even when there are public concerns.

Other organisations who march or parade through city streets are concerned these groups are getting round the law by calling a static demonstration at a specific point but then marching to another point, forcing police to accompany them to prevent trouble breaking out.

The SDL and the English Defence League have held various demonstrations in Glasgow city centre in recent years.

Activists are often bused in from other parts of the country and on most occasions they are met by counter anti-fascist protests.

The “Protestant-Unionist- Loyalist“associated group, the Regimental Blues are also specifically mentioned in the report

Police are concerned that while the static demonstrations are not hard to deal with they can put as much pressure on resources as a larger, notified, march or parade.

The report stated: “It should be stressed here that static demonstrations were not seen by senior officers as a major challenge to policing, though they sometimes offer more immediate challenges and resource implications.”

Officer said these groups were different from traditional parading organisations like the Orange order and established Irish republican groups.

The report stated “The often have volatile membership, they make take hard line positions where they do not wish to engage with local authorities and police and they may find such engagement difficult though organisational inexperience.”