Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham has asked people to stick with physical distancing to protect the NHS and save lives as Police Scotland released further information on use of emergency powers.
DCC Graham, strategic lead for Police Scotland’s coronavirus response, said: “The people of Scotland have stepped forward during this public health emergency to do their part to protect the NHS and save lives.
“Community policing has a vital role to play in supporting the physical distancing legal requirement to stay at home, which remains the key intervention that can be made during this period.
“In Scotland, we have been able to maintain a highly visible presence in our communities as our officers and staff work round the clock to engage with our fellow citizens, explain these requirements and encourage people to co-operate with them.
“If you are out and about, officers may ask you why. Please, explain your individual circumstances, listen to their instructions and obey the law. We will, as we have been required to do on a very infrequent basis, take enforcement action where necessary.
“On the small number of occasions where officers have taken enforcement action, this has largely been in response to house parties or public gatherings, while a small minority of irresponsible and selfish people who repeatedly and wilfully break the law, have now received multiple fixed penalty notices.”
DCC Graham added: “The legislation and guidance was introduced quickly and everyone has had to make changes to their daily habits and significant sacrifices in their lifestyles.
“For generations, successful policing in Scotland has relied on the consent of the communities we serve, and I am grateful for the very high levels of support and co-operation we have seen thus far.
“These are however extraordinary emergency powers which were introduced quickly and the Chief Constable has commissioned John Scott QC to lead an independent, external, review our use of them.
“Mr Scott and his group can provide significant value to our thinking and operational practice. We will engage with them on an ongoing basis as we keep our values of integrity, fairness, respect and the upholding of human rights at the centre of all we do.”