Police called to break up 405 house parties at weekend

Six people were arrested and one Fixed Penalty Notice was issued between Friday and Sunday.

Police called to break up 405 house parties at weekend STV News

Police were called to 405 house parties across Scotland this weekend following reports of alleged breaches of coronavirus regulations.

Six people were arrested and one Fixed Penalty Notice was issued between Friday and Sunday. Others were also given advice and dispersed.

Whilst responding to a party in Edinburgh’s Muirhouse at around 5.35am on Sunday, two officers were allegedly assaulted. The windows of two police vehicles were also reportedly smashed.

Two 47-year-old men have been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged incident and were due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

At around 11.30pm on Friday in North Lanarkshire, a 21-year-old man was arrested and charged for allegedly obstructing officers who had been called to a party at a tower block in Muirhouse, Motherwell. He will be subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal.

Last week, police recorded a significant increase in the number of reports of noise, public nuisance and disturbance compared to the same time in 2019.

This week, the trend has continued with officers responding to 1852 reports of such incidents across the country – an increase of 41% compared to the same weekend last year.

Deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham said: “The figures from this weekend show that we will use the powers we have to disperse parties which breach the regulations and will enforce where necessary.

“We will not tolerate blatant disregard for the legislation which is there to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I’m extremely disappointed to learn that two officers were allegedly assaulted while responding to a party in Edinburgh.

“Our officers find themselves dealing with situations on a daily basis to protect the people and communities we serve, and are trained to a high level to deal with violent and confrontational situations. However, being assaulted is not simply part of the job and it cannot be tolerated.

“The chief constable made it clear that assaults against officers and staff is utterly unacceptable in his public pledge made to tackle this last month.”

On Monday, rules limiting social gatherings in Scotland to six people came into force.

The tightening of Covid-19 restrictions means no more than six people can meet from a maximum of two households.

The rule applies in people’s homes and in public places, such as cafes, bars and restaurants.

However, children under 12 from either of the two households do not count towards the total of six.

DCC Graham said Police Scotland’s “consistent enforcement approach” would continue.

He said: “The majority of people have been complying with the law and we know that public confidence in the policing approach we have taken is high.

“Our approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance, and encourage compliance, only using enforcement as a last resort.

“We will continue with that approach, but we will not hesitate to use enforcement action where it is necessary.”

DCC Graham said the force has had almost 68,000 interactions with the public since the start of the emergency, and has only had to take enforcement action on around 3600 occasions.

He added: “However, we will not tolerate blatant disregard for the law, which is in place to help stop the spread of the virus, and we have been using our powers to disperse large groups of people at house parties.

“The chief constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”