Extra police will be on Scotland’s streets as bars and restaurants are put under a 10pm curfew.
Police Scotland’s Chief Constable has said patrols will be increased to ensure compliance with the new measure, aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.
However, Iain Livingstone admitted at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Friday that the measure could see an increase in house parties or gatherings as customers refuse to end their nights early.
He said: “Additional officers will be deployed across Scotland to support colleagues from local authorities and to monitor compliance.
“I think it’s important for me to say that the vast majority of licensees have acted with great responsibility during this very challenging period – I pay credit to them and undertake that policing will continue to support and work with the licensed trade.”
The Chief Constable said that officers would “continue to use good sense” when enforcing the new rules.
Later in the briefing, the head of Police Scotland said there was “a danger” that parties would increase after the early closing of bars.
He added: “That is why I’ve been so clear this afternoon about discouraging people from having house parties, discouraging people from gathering together indoors where there’s no level of regulation or oversight.
“The reason that we’re going to ask our officers to be around at the 10pm curfew tonight is that it’s a change and with any period of adjustment… there will always be some that won’t (follow regulations).
“We’ll go and speak to people and encourage them to do the right thing and if they’re not, ultimately, then we’ll take enforcement action.”
Mr Livingstone also said that he would not tolerate any abuse levelled at police officers or staff who try to enforce the new measures.
He said: “It won’t be tolerated.
“I have made a public pledge of my fundamental commitment of that and will continue to take action against those who look to do harm to people who ultimately are doing their job for the public.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she echoed the Chief Constable’s comments on abuse suffered by police officers “100%”.
Reporting by PA