POLICE officers from Fife could be deployed across the country to deal with Brexit protests and disruption at ports.

The Scottish force has put 360 officers on standby to tackle any incidents that arise from the UK's decision to leave the European Union next month.

They'll be available from mid-March while others will be posted to the Police Scotland control room at Bilston Glen, in Midlothian, which will co-ordinate the response to any issues.

The board of the Scottish Police Authority was updated last week and 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."

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29 and police planning is based on identifying the "reasonable worst case scenarios" that may be faced in the event of a no deal.

He added: "As outlined to the SPA board last week, 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.”