01 June 2020

No coronavirus arrests over first weekend of easing lockdown in Scotland

01 June 2020

No arrests relating to coronavirus were made over the first weekend of lockdown measures being eased in Scotland.

Figures from Police Scotland indicate there were 1,391 compliant dispersals from 7am on Friday to 7am on Monday with 650 after police warning.

Officers issued 16 fixed penalty notices following the emergency coronavirus legislation.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr posted on Twitter to say more than 1,000 arrests were made over the weekend but this was due to more people being in public as Scotland entered phase one of lifting the lockdown.

Mr Kerr said: “The increase in people out and about following the relaxing of some of the restrictions has seen a rise in crime levels, reflected in the number of arrests over the weekend.

“The efforts of officers and staff throughout this challenging pandemic has been extraordinary and policing continues in all our communities as we face increasing demands on the service.

“The figures from the last 72 hours – high numbers of dispersals and no arrests relating to coronavirus – show how we are continuing to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance.

“We will only use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation, and our overall approach will continue to be one based on common sense and discretion.

“The regulations remain that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home.

“The Chief Constable has also 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 protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”

At the First Minister’s daily briefing earlier on Monday it was announced police issued 797 disperals on Saturday alone – five times higher than the figure from the previous Saturday.

Nicola Sturgeon said over the weekend – which saw sunny weather and high temperatures – it was clear not everyone stuck to the rules.

Mr Kerr said it was “a responsibility on us all” to help control the virus which everyone has “a civic duty to take seriously”.

He added: “We absolutely recognise that people have made significant sacrifices until now and, while the temptation may be to head straight for one of our beauty spots, please use your best judgment and avoid going to places which are normally busy during the good weather.

“Complying with the legislation about meeting only one other household outdoors at any one time and following the Scottish Government’s guidance about avoiding travelling long distances will stop our parks, beaches, lochs and hills from becoming over-crowded.

“We all want to enjoy our outdoor spaces safely and, whilst our officers will continue to robustly tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, please take reasonable steps to keep yourself safe and act responsibly.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox