Anyone ignoring coronavirus laws ‘will be dealt with’

The Police Scotland chief constable says those breaking the law will be 'dealt with appropriately'.

Anyone ignoring coronavirus laws ‘will be dealt with’ Police Scotland

The chief constable of Police Scotland has warned that anyone ignoring emergency coronavirus laws “will be dealt with appropriately”.

Iain Livingstone said he is “grateful to the overwhelming majority who have complied with the significant sacrifices and changes to their lives that are needed to protect society”.

But he added that officers had yesterday served emergency closure orders on a small number of licensed premises for ignoring Government instructions to shutter due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And he issued a warning to those who continue to ignore the instructions.

In a statement, he said: “We are carefully monitoring the progress of emergency legislation relating to Covid-19 and we will continue to work with the Government about what is being asked of the public and the enforcement we will take where necessary.

“My priority, as always, is to ensure the people of Scotland are protected and policed effectively.

“Those breaking the law will be dealt with appropriately to ensure the public is kept safe from risk and harm.

“I urge you all to stay informed about developments and reflect on how you go about your lives during these difficult days.

“We, in Police Scotland, will continue to focus on public service and we must all work to support the national effort.”

On Friday, Nicola Sturgeon has asked all restaurants, cafes, pubs and cinemas in Scotland to close, following new instructions announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the same day.

The Chief Constable added that the response to the coronavirus has “escalated significantly in recent days and circumstances continue to develop at a rapid pace”.

He added: “I have always been clear that the Police Service of Scotland operates for the ultimate benefit of our fellow citizens and it is the consent of our communities from which we gain our authority and legitimacy.

“Your assistance, support and co-operation is vital during this critical period and I am grateful to the overwhelming majority who have complied with the significant sacrifices and changes to their lives that are needed to protect society.

“Our officers and staff are displaying great strength and resilience as they support the work of health professionals and wider society in what is a national effort.”

After Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson announced further measures on Monday night Livingston said: “We are fully behind the new measures announced by the UK and Scottish Governments to increase social distancing, and I urge and expect everyone to comply with them.

“We are aware of the proposed legislation in relation to coronavirus and are carefully considering the implications in this very fast moving situation, which presents the gravest of threats to the nation.

“In the meantime, Police Scotland has a clear, positive duty to both protect life and improve the safety and wellbeing of people across Scotland, while supporting the government and health agencies in our fight against this pandemic.

“Therefore, until the new legislation is in place, we will be increasing police patrols in key areas across the country to engage with and provide guidance to anyone in contravention of the measures.”

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