POLICE Scotland's leading anti-terrorism officer organised a massive de-branding operation to unstitch old police logos from 8000 uniforms.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson gave officers detailed instructions on how to use 'stitch-pickers' they had been issued with, according to freedom of information. He assured officers the procedure had been tested and was safe. Any officers unsure of their unstitching duties were advised to contact a line manager and or to get in touch with headquarters.

ACC Nicolson even organised for the used stitch-pickers to be disposed of in special "sharps" bins once old logos had been removed from uniforms and body armour to make way for Police Scotland badges.

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The Scottish Tories said extra resources earmarked for justice had been used to create a police "sewing bee".

The bizarre operation was ordered in March, shortly before the new single force came into effect on April 1. Police Scotland declined to comment.