SCOTTISH police officers have been banned from taking holidays after Brexit, with fears a no deal could trigger protests and disorder.
Requests for leave will only be granted in exceptional circumstances in the weeks following March 29, when Britain is due to leave the EU.
Police Scotland has said it is preparing for the challenge of delays at borders and ports and the “potential for protest and disorder” in the event of a no-deal.
There are concerns over shortages of essential goods such as food causing disruption.
Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, which represents frontline officers, said leave requests for April had been effectively halted.
He said the contingencies being prepared for included having to send officers to support the policing of the border in Ireland.
Mr Steele added that Scotland did not have a history of civil unrest, but the consequences of Brexit could include “increased anger and resentment manifesting itself in some of our communities”.
Police Scotland said previously approved holiday leave and exceptional requests would be honoured in April.
The force has shelved plans to cut 300 officer posts and brought forward the recruitment of 120 extra officers this year due to Brexit.
The Scottish Government said the UK Government’s “chaotic approach” to Brexit remains a significant threat to public services.