Police Scotland is under fire after it did not publicly announce a stop-and-search order was in place across Glasgow on the day of a Loyalist protest.

Hundreds took to the city's George Square on Saturday, September 14 to join a demonstration protesting against a council decision to temporarily ban marches over fears of violence and sectarian disorder.

At one point, protesters held up a large white banner which read “SNP blood on your hands. IRA off our streets”. 

A large police presence was seen across the city, particularly in the square, with around 100 officers monitoring events.

READ MORE: Anti-sectarian charity calls for banning orders to be handed out at those arrested at marches

Mounted units and riot vans were on alert in the streets surrounding the square but were not called into action. 

Now, Scotland on Sunday has revealed a Section 60 was in place across the city on the morning of the protest - meaning officers were allowed to search anyone in the area for a set period of time.

Section 60 is put in place if police anticipate serious violence taking place, and are usually used by the Metropolitan Police to cover large-scale events with the potential for unrest.

No arrests were made on the day, and it is believed no-one was searched under the order.

READ MORE: Glasgow Loyalist marches monitored by special No-Deal Brexit police unit

“I am concerned the police did not publicise the fact the order was in place,” said Katrina French, chief executive of StopWatch, which campaigns for fair and effective policing. “The whole idea is you use a S60 as a deterrent.

"An announcement provides transparency around the usage of the power but also confidence with the community that they are being engaged with.”