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North east public urged to comply with physical distancing to help save lives

By David Porter

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As Police Scotland’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continues, North East Division superintendent Kate Stephen would like to thank the vast majority of the public for their ongoing support and cooperation.

Superintendant Kate Stephen
Superintendant Kate Stephen

Figures released this week show that Police Scotland issued just 1637 fixed penalty notices and made 78 arrests across the whole of Scotland between Friday, March 27, and 7am on Thursday, April 23. 95 of these penalty notices were issued in the north east, with just one arrest made.

Some 245 dispersal after being informed incidents were recorded and there were 39 dispersals after being instructed.

A total of 17 people had to be returned home using reasonable force in the north-east, the third highest figure in Scotland, surpassed only in Ayrshire and the Argyll and West Dumbartonshire area.

Superintendent Stephen said: “The Scottish Government’s coronavirus emergency powers were introduced very quickly, and we know people are making significant sacrifices in their day-to-day activities and lives as the restrictions continue.

"The Chief Constable has been clear that everyone - including police officers - must take a common sense approach to this extraordinary situation, therefore Police Scotland officers will continue to engage with the public and, where necessary, explain and encourage the need for us all to comply during this public health emergency.

“If you are out and about, officers may ask you why.

"Please explain your individual circumstances to them and listen to their instructions.

"Enforcement action will be used as a last resort and only where people continue to flout the regulations and fail to comply repeatedly with police direction.

“In line with the rest of the country, our patrols continue at key locations including beaches, dog walking areas, parks and other green spaces.

"I appreciate that as the restrictions persist and the weather continues to be so good, it may feel tempting to spend more time outdoors and to visit the countless beauty spots we are fortunate to have across the north east.

"However the message is clear - you should only leave the house for very limited purposes including buying basic necessities such as food and medicine, for daily exercise, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done at home.

"Do not travel to take exercise and do not hold gatherings with people from outwith your household.

“On behalf on North East Division, I would like to say how thankful I am for the public's response so far.

"As the restrictions continue, the legislation and the guidance remains very clear - we need everybody, collectively, to play their part to protect the NHS and save lives.”

To read more about the national statistics, visit - www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2020/april/continued-public-support-needed-to-save-lives

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