Covid breaches rise as police break up more house parties

Enforcement of restrictions is at its highest level since emergency powers began.

Covid breaches rise as police break up more house parties STV News

Police say there has been a significant increase in the number of breaches of Covid regulations, including a rise in house parties.

At a Scottish Police Authority (SPA) conference on Wednesday morning, deputy chief constable Will Kerr said the number of house gatherings “have been rising significantly”.

The overall number of charges, which includes fines for breaking coronavirus rules, has more than doubled since the start of the year.

In the first week in January, there were fewer than 500 charges recorded by police, but last week that number was more than 1000.

Although the majority of interactions between police and the public continue to be resolved without enforcement, the percentage of occasions when officers have had to take action increased by 21% between the first week in January and the week up to February 10.

A report presented by lawyer John Scott to the SPA on Wednesday found that enforcement was at its highest level since emergency powers started just under a year ago.

The report said: “Some individuals are feckless or careless, and some transgress through genuine confusion, albeit the persistently large number of unlawful house gatherings may be hard to excuse in that way.

“Some, especially when it comes to self-isolation, may simply be unable to adhere to requirements due to financial or other need which continues in many cases to go unmet and unsupported.”

The percentage of FPNs issued has risen from fewer than 400 in the first week of the year to around 750 last week.

Police in Glasgow issued 171 FPNs in one weekend, on February 13 and 14.

The report to the SPA also highlighted concerns regarding how gatherings of children aged 12 and over were treated in the same way as adults.

The report said this had a “serious impact on the health and wellbeing of such children”.

Although there is no pro-active policing on travel regulations, police had issued 532 FPNs for breaking these rules as of February 14.

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