OFFICERS showed American cops how to police Scottish football matches at this year's Scottish Cup Final.

Fifteen American delegates from major police departments, including New York, Los Angeles and Tucson, visited Scotland last week to learn about policing on this side of the pond.

Their trip concluded with a masterclass at the Rangers v Hearts fixture in Hampden Stadium on Saturday, where US officers observed their Glasgow counterparts.

The visits are part of the International Collaboration on Policing (ICOP), which aims for different forces to share experiences and improve ideas in police work on a global scale.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said: “Police Scotland’s statutory mission is to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities, and this partnership work enables us to continue to develop how we do this.

“This sharing of international partnership experiences strengthens our ability to provide the best possible policing, for the public and our own people, as well as through key partners across Scotland.”

Glasgow Times: ICOP participants at Police Scotland headquarters in TulliallanICOP participants at Police Scotland headquarters in Tulliallan

Scottish Police Authority board member Tom Halpin added: “A core purpose of the Scottish Police Authority is to promote and support continuous improvement in the policing of Scotland.

"It is clear to me this International Collaboration on Policing with our American colleagues directly does exactly that.

“Exposing our own police to both differences and similarities in policing internationally is essential in building our reputation for excellence and commitment to rights-based policing.

"I was delighted to again observe first-hand Police Scotland’s commitment to being Global Citizens, so strongly demonstrated in the successful policing operation for COP26 in Glasgow.”

The American officers' visit included a trip to the Scottish Parliament, Police Scotland headquarters in Tulliallan and learning about royal protection policing and the role of negotiating in sieges.

Officers also got the chance to patrol around Greater Glasgow before the visit to Hampden. 

Glasgow Times: ICOP participants hearing about the role of negotiating in siegesICOP participants hearing about the role of negotiating in sieges

Deputy Chief David Lazar of San Francisco Police Department, who was participating in the masterclass, said: “The international collaboration on policing between Police Scotland and US agencies has been powerful and extremely impactful for us, personally and professionally.

“We have been able to learn from one another on meaningful topics such as building trust and legitimacy in the communities we serve.

"Our professional engagement with one another allows us to learn best practice in policing, resulting in improved police service at a local level.”

Police Scotland officers previously travelled to Washington DC in March, where some of their learning involved hearing about the Capitol Hill attack from the US Capitol Police's perspective.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Keith Brown, spoke to the masterclass and said: “I am continually struck by Police Scotland’s focus on human rights and this is one of the reasons why I feel Police Scotland is one of the most progressive police services in the world.

"They are a rights-based organisation that puts the values of integrity, fairness and respect at the heart of their work.

“To be able to share these values as part of collaborative sessions such as this will help build trust in policing both within Scotland and beyond and I hope the service will be hosting more of these sessions in the near future.”