North-east Covid-19 fines at highest level since first lockdown

North-east Covid-19 fines at highest level since first lockdown

The number of people handed fines for breaching Covid-19 rules in the north-east last month was the highest it has been since April last year.

According to official statistics from Police Scotland’s North East Division, 56 fixed penalty notices were handed out in February.

The previous highest total was in April 2020 when 104 fines were given out by officers.

Police Scotland’s statistics show that 49 fines were handed out in January, 18 in December, 22 in November, 12 in October and none in September 2020.

Officers made two arrests in February with seven in January.  The highest number of arrests came last April with 10.

The data is issued by Police Scotland covers and the first coronavirus lockdown last March up until February this year.

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Chief Superintendent George MacDonald, North East Divisional Commander, said: “The past year has been exceptional for everyone and we fully recognise the impact the restrictions are having on people’s lives.

“The vast majority of the public have been following the law. However, it is clear that significant sacrifices are still needed to help suppress the spread of coronavirus.

“The chief constable has made it clear that our approach throughout the pandemic has not changed. Police Scotland officers will continue to use their common sense and discretion while encouraging people to take personal responsibility and follow the regulations. Where officers encounter wilful breaches they will act decisively to enforce the law.”

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It comes after police in the city attended call-outs across the city at the end of February aimed at tackling those who continue to break regulations.

Police were called to addresses in several areas of Aberdeen including Seaton, Cove and the West End, breaking up parties and issuing fixed penalty notices.

North-east Conservative MSP and shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said the figures were “worrying” with people in the region not sticking to the rules despite the pandemic.

He said: “It’s worrying to see these figures which show that some people in the north-east are still disobeying the Covid rules.

“There are simply no excuses for this because people know full well the risk this poses to public health and this is the last thing our dedicated police officers on the frontline need.

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“The north-east currently has some of the lowest Covid case figures in Scotland and people deserve great credit for abiding by the rules.

“But seeing a minority risk our progress is selfish and completely unacceptable.”

© Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
Police in Aberdeen during a crackdown on people breaking lockdown rules.

Meanwhile, north-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “People have complied with restrictions for almost a whole year, and there’s no doubt that relaxing restrictions in line with falling case numbers is the best way to prevent the low level of breaches seen so far from getting out of hand.”

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