Six hillwalkers charged amid coronavirus restrictions

Officers have received 46 calls to search and rescue incidents across Scotland.

Six hillwalkers charged amid coronavirus restrictions PA Wire

Six hillwalkers have been charged amid coronavirus restrictions over the last two months, according to Police Scotland.

Officers have received 46 calls to search and rescue incidents across the country.

A total of six fixed penalty notices have been issued and six people charged with culpable and reckless conduct.

Assistant chief constable Alan Speirs said: “I fully appreciate that the restrictions affect how we live our lives and spend our free time, however, the best way to stay safe is to stay at home.

“Particularly at the weekends, we are seeing people travelling for leisure purposes outwith their local authority areas and sometimes getting caught out by the change in weather conditions.

“We have been very clear that we will not be routinely stopping vehicles or setting up roadblocks.

“However, officers may in the course of their duties come across people who are travelling from one local authority area to another.

“The chief constable has made it clear that our approach throughout the pandemic has not changed.

“Officers will continue to support people to follow the regulations and encourage them to take personal responsibility.

“The vast majority of people have stepped up to take responsibility and our determination and collective effort to tackle this virus must now continue through these difficult times.”

Police Scotland and mountain rescue teams have recently had to attend a number of incidents where people have travelled out of their local authority areas and required assistance due to ill-preparedness.

On January 16, four men from Midlothian travelled to Crianlarich near Stirling in one vehicle to climb Ben More.

They had to be talked off the hill via phone and text by police and mountain rescue teams and required ambulance assistance.

The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter also attended the incident.

They managed to walk themselves off the hill uninjured, and were charged.

On January 9, a family from Edinburgh travelled to the Biggar area for a walk and had to be rescued with the assistance of police and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue after their vehicle got stuck in snow.