The Scottish Police Federation has issued a statement warning both sides of the Scottish independence referendum to play nice “in response to the suggestion of absolute carnage in and around polling stations on September 18”.
The much-anticipated referendum has seen polls narrow to such a degree that the Yes campaign is just six points behind the Better Together campaign.
Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said the debate had so far been “robust but overwhelmingly good natured”, adding it would be “a disservice” to all who had taken part to allow Scotland to “disintegrate into absolute carnage on the back of making the most important decision in the country’s history”.
Politicians and supporters of whichever point of view need to be mindful of the potential impact of intemperate, inflammatory and exaggerated language, lest they be seen to seek to create a self fulfilling prophecy
Docherty's comments came after former Scotland secretary and Better Together campaigner Jim Murphy was forced to suspend his tour of 100 towns in 100 days after he was pelted with eggs last Wednesday in Kirkcaldy. The tour is resuming today in Edinburgh.
Alistair Darling, the leader of the no campaign, has already said he would talk to police chiefs about plans for polling day and his "increasing concerns about the temperature of the debate".
Reports suggest that there have been other fracas. A 55-year-old man has been charged in connection with an alleged assault on a woman, following a "heated debate" between the two camps on Saturday. There was another alleged assault outside Tynecastle stadium in Edinburgh on the same day, which police are also investigating.