Additional officer deployed on Scottish streets to police new regulations this weekend

Police Scotland has promised to deploy more officers to patrol the country’s streets this weekend, as new Scottish Government restrictions come into force.

From 6pm this evening, pubs and restaurants in Scotland’s central belt will have to close until October 25 as part of a package of measures designed to deliver a “short sharp shock” to the spread of coronavirus, according to national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch.

Outside of central Scotland, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to operate indoors between 6am and 6pm from Friday and not serve alcohol, though drinks can be served until 10pm in outdoor areas.

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Since the start of the pandemic in March, Police Scotland have had more than 75,000 coronavirus-related altercations with members of the public - with around 4,000 resulting in formal action.

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Announcing the boosted patrols, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “Officers will be highly visible in communities over the weekend to engage with the public, explain the new advice, guidance and restrictions and encourage people to do the right thing.

“From the start of this pandemic, the people of Scotland have demonstrated impressive personal responsibility.

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“These significant restrictions on our freedoms do not affect everyone equally and I have been clear from the outset that constables will exercise the discretion of their office to work with our fellow citizens in a collective effort to protect lives.

“The Police Service of Scotland will continue to work with courtesy, compassion and common sense to help keep people safe.”

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Police Scotland has promised to deploy more officers to patrol the country’s streets this weekend, as new Scottish Government restrictions come into force. . (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In the week up to midnight on Sunday, 4 October, provisional data indicates officers responded to 365 reports of house gatherings or parties of which 271 were found to amount to a breach of regulations.

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Officers issued 106 fixed penalties and made 18 arrests in relation to house gatherings.

Mr Livingstone said: “Despite overwhelming levels of co-operation and support, I am concerned that a small minority of people continue to host or participate in house parties and house gatherings.

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“Where we encounter wilful, repeated, persistent or flagrant breaches we will, as the public would expect and support, act decisively to enforce the law.”

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