Police fine more than 500 people for flouting lockdown rules

The chief constable says officers have been taking action since emergency powers came into effect in a response to the outbreak.

More than 500 people in Scotland have been issued fines since strict guidelines on social distancing came into effect last month due to the coronavirus crisis.

Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone said officers have been issuing fixed penalty notices to those not adhering to lockdown rules.

The chief constable thanked people who were following the guidance adding that his officers would “explain legal instructions, encourage compliance and when needed enforce the law”.

Amid concern increasing numbers of Scots could flout social distancing guidance over the Easter weekend, the Scottish Government has reiterated that lockdown measures mean essential reasons such as buying groceries, healthcare, caring responsibilities or essential work.

Livingstone said: “Since emergency powers came into effect two weeks ago, we have been required to take enforcement action in limited situations.

“Thus far, across the whole of the country, we have issued more than 500 fixed penalty notices.

“This has typically been during incidents where people do not comply with legal instructions even after being spoken to by officers, for example house parties or other gatherings in public where those involved refuse to disperse,” he added.

Livingstone said on one recent occasion police visited a house in the Scottish Borders where people had gathered in breach of lockdown measures.

The group did not comply with officers’ instructions and a number of people were arrested. Others were served fixed penalty notices.

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