Police issue 46 fixed penalties in Glasgow area to people ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules
And Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has thanked the public for their overwhelming support and co-operation.
During the first week of the new regulations on social distancing, designed to save lives and protect the NHS during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, 46 fixed penalty notices were issued by police in the Greater Glasgow area.
Across the whole of Scotland, officers issued 144 fixed penalty notices between Friday, 27 March and Wednesday, 1 April.
Fixed penalty notices were issued to people who persistently flouted the regulations or refused to co-operate with requests to comply.
In one incident, three penalty notices were issued to a group of men who had no reasonable excuse to be together in a van and who stated they had no intention of adhering to the regulations.
And six penalty notices were issued to people at a house party.
The Chief Constable said: “People recognise that it is their duty to adhere to these guidelines to protect their fellow citizens, ease the strain on the health service, and collectively save lives.
“Everyone must contribute to the national effort to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and I am grateful to the vast majority who have made significant changes to their daily habits and routines.
“I expect the high levels of co-operation to continue as awareness and understanding of the guidance increases. Stay indoors, stay safe, protect the NHS, and save lives.”
The Coronavirus Act 2020 allows officers to enforce the testing of individuals with suspected coronavirus. It also allows for the closure of events, gatherings and premises.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 allow officers to close businesses and premises which flout the government’s guidance.
The regulations give officers the power to enforce social distancing among the wider public, with the sanction of penalty notices where there has been an offence.
Police Scotland can issue penalty notices of £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 28 days, where they have reason to believe there has been an offence under the regulations.
Due to the exceptional nature of these powers, the regulations will be reviewed at least every 21 days to ensure they are still necessary.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While Police Scotland have powers of enforcement, I expect these will be used only as a last resort, and that the vast majority of people will use their common sense and play a full part in this country-wide effort.”
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch added: “The best way of slowing down the spread of coronavirus is social distancing, so I must thank Police Scotland for working with members of the public to keep them safe and encourage them to comply with these regulations.
“I would remind everyone that if you do have to leave your house for any of the essential reasons – food, medicine, care, exercise or work, and you absolutely cannot do them at home – then please stay two metres away from people you don’t live with, and keep human contact as limited as possible.”