Scottish independence
A 'No' flag is pictured behind the bar inside the pro-union pub 'The District Bar' in Glasgow Getty

Police in Scotland have dismissed the "preposterous" suggestions there will be a surge of violence come the referendum, following confirmation pubs will extend their drinking hours on the night of the historic poll.

There have been fears that the already existing tensions between the opposing 'Yes' and 'No' campaigns would be further fuelled following the news pubs and bars in Scotland will be allowed to stay open later in order to see in the result.

Voting for the referendum will begin on 18 September, with the result expected to be announced the following morning.

The decision to grant late licences to Scottish pubs on the night of the referendum has been described as "absolute madness" by police officers.

One officer told The Times: "There are a lot of people getting very, very worked up in the lead up to Thursday, particularly in the Yes campaign. If it's a 'no' vote, there is a concern among police that it will get ugly.

"Houses with No signs still up will be particularly vulnerable, especially if people have been drinking for most of the day and throughout the night."

A campaigner from the 'No' campaign previously told IB Times UK of the tensions between the two rival groups, including incidents of vandalism.

The Better Campaign Group have also accused the Yes campaign of attempting to "intimidate people into silence" in the run up to the poll.

There were fears that an Orange Walk through Edinburgh showing support for the Yes campaign – which Alistair Darling's group quickly distanced themselves from – would result in violence. However, Scotland Police confirmed the parade passed without any serious incident.

Brian Docherty, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, has now dismissed suggestions there will be unrest on either side, and expects the referendum to be "robust but overwhelmingly good-natured."

Scottish independence
The polls still place the 'Yes' and 'No' campaign neck and neck Reuters

He said: "It was inevitable that the closer we came to 18 September, passions would increase but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency. Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration yet nothing could be further from the truth.

"Scotland's citizens are overwhelmingly law abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box, our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all.

"At this time it is more important than ever that individuals, be they politicians, journalists or whoever, should carefully consider their words, maintain level heads and act with respect.

"Respect is not demonstrated by suggesting a minority of mindless idiots are representative of anything."

Docherty said his officers must steer clear of rhetoric "better suited to the playground than the political stump [campaign trail]" and assured they have better things to do than respond to "baseless speculation" about the potential for violence.

On the eve of the vote, the latest figures suggest the Better Together campaign is slightly in the lead with a 52% majority.