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Police Scotland issue 46 lockdown fines a day

Paul O'Hare

BBC Scotland News

Police
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Police Scotland issued 46 fines a day last week to people who flouted the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The force also made 33 arrests across the country related to violations of the Scottish government's guidelines.

The latest figures, for week ending 1 July, bring the total number of fixed penalty notices to 3,616. This is an increase of 322 (9.8%) on the previous seven days.

Fines start at £30, doubling to £60 if they are not paid within 28 days. Repeat offenders can face fines of up to £960.

Meanwhile, the number of arrests since the lockdown was introduced now stands at 283.

Figures for last week also reveal 33 people were dispersed "using reasonable force", 782 were "dispersed when instructed" and 5,218 were "dispersed when informed."

QC praises police use of emergency powers

Reevel Alderson

BBC Scotland Home Affairs correspondent

Police on patrol
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The QC who has been monitoring the way Police Scotland has operated during the coronavirus pandemic has said the force has been doing a good job.

Speaking to a virtual meeting of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), John Scott said the force had resisted demands for greater enforcement of emergency regulations.

A report presented to the SPA board said that from 27 March until 17 June there were more than 53,000 interventions using emergency powers - an average of 640 a day.

Data showed 92.8% of these were the dispersal of people, with only 6.6% of incidents involving enforcement action.

It also revealed the issue of fixed penalty notices or arrests was higher in the early stage of lockdown.

Prof Susan McVie of Edinburgh University, who has carried out research for the review, told the SPA board: "I think this demonstrates a high level of discretion in terms of the police having been given quite draconian powers."

Police fines for flouting lockdown measures plummet

Paul O'Hare

BBC Scotland News

Crowd on a beach
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Police Scotland issued 35 fines last week to people who flouted the Covid-19 restrictions.

The figures, the second to be published since Scotland moved into phase one of lockdown easing, also revealed officers only made nine arrests.

The statistics show a 68% drop in the number of fixed penalty notices handed out, compared to 110 the previous week. This brings the total since the measures were introduced to 3,248.

Fines start at £30, doubling to £60 if they are not paid within 28 days. Repeat offenders can face penalties of up to £960.

The update, for week ending 10 June, confirms a dozen individuals were dispersed using "reasonable force" compared to 36 the previous week.

A total of 609 were "dispersed when instructed" while the number "dispersed when informed" was 2,449.

Police absence rate 'remarkably' lowest it has ever been

Holyrood Live

BBC Parliaments

Officer in PPE
Perth Picture Agency

The chief constable says while officers have been able to provide advice and enforce the law, Police Scotland has faced challenges in terms of staffing and PPE.

Mr Livingstone tells MSPs over 14,000 officers and staff now have access to PPE, with a dedicated team set up for sourcing and training on how to use it.

The absence rate is currently at 3.5%, Iain Livingstone confirms, which is "remarkably" the lowest it has ever been.

He says officers have been "very visible" in communities in recent months and the public has stepped forward to work with police services.

The chief constable also says the police officers remain concerned about those facing domestic or child abuse, adding: "Sadly for some people that stay at home guidance does expose them to greater risk of abuse, harm or neglect. We are aware unfortunately that virtual spaces are not also safe places for everyone.

"It remains a significant concern and priority going forward."

Fall in police lockdown fines but dispersal orders soar

Paul O'Hare

BBC Scotland News

Crowd at Luss
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The number of fines issued by Police Scotland to people who flouted the Covid-19 restrictions plummeted by 56% last week.

The figures, the first to be published since Scotland moved into phase one of lockdown easing, also saw the weekly number of arrests fall from 30 to 11.

The statistics reveal 110 fixed penalty notices were handed out compared to 252 the previous week. This brings the total since the measures were introduced to 3,213.

Fines start at £30, doubling to £60 if they are not paid within 28 days. Repeat offenders can face penalties of up to £960.

But the update, for week ending 3 June, reveals the number of individuals dispersed using "reasonable force" doubled from 18 to 36.

Major increases were also recorded in the number "dispersed when instructed", which soared from 654 to 2,107, while the number "dispersed when informed" increased by 13% to 4,357.

Police powers: Lockdown measures protect 'right to life'

Good Morning Scotland

BBC Radio Scotland

sign
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A senior lawyer, who has been asked by Police Scotland to monitor the impact of lockdown regulations, says it is important the powers are kept under constant review.

John Scott QC said the measures have been judged necessary because they protect the right to life, but should only be in place as long as necessary and used proportionately.

But he told Radio Scotland that it would be right for further restrictions to be introduced if there is a resurgence of Covid-19 infections.

The QC added that he thought "common sense" had been applied in the majority of cases, both by Police Scotland officers and members of the public.

Because the path of the disease is not necessarily only in one direction - it's not always just going to go downwards - then the restrictions may be reintroduced or additional restrictions might be introduced or introduced on a regional or geographic basis

John ScottQC

Volunteer constables donate over 25,000 hours since lockdown

Special Constables and police officers
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Special Constables (SPCs) donated over 25,000 hours supporting Police Scotland in the two months after lockdown began.

The special constabulary is a part-time volunteer body consisting of officers with powers identical to those of police officers.

Following an appeal by Police Scotland in March, the number of hours SPCs were deployed for more than doubled, to 25,656, compared to the same period last year.

Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said: “While SPCs have always been considered a vital and valued feature of policing in Scotland, it is more important than ever that their role is recognised and I would like to sincerely thank them all once again for their efforts."

Retired teachers could help pupils back to school

Retired teachers could be asked to return to work so class sizes can be reduced in the Western Isles.

Bernard Chisholm, education director at local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said it was an option being considered in preparation for schools reopening on 11 August.

He said school buses would have to carry fewer pupils and there would be social distancing measures on the transport.

Education management at Highland Council, meanwhile, is holding discussions on opening its schools on the same date. Its schools were not due to reopen after the summer holidays to pupils until 18 August.

The rules haven't changed yet, police stress

Iain Livingstone
BBC

The chief constable of Police Scotland, Iain Livingstone, says he wants to thank the "overwhelming majority" of the public for their cooperation over lockdown.

He says that as we progress through the phases of leaving lockdown, it is inevitable that police will move from "explaining, encouraging and where necessary enforcing restrictions" to a greater emphasis on guidance and advice.

Mr Livingstone says the approach of the police has been broadly to rely on the public doing the right thing.

But, he says, "the rules in Scotland have not changed" yet and "as a last resort" officers will enforce the law while they are out proactively policing until the change.

"Please stick with it," he urged.

More than 160 police officers test positive for Covid-19

Paul O'Hare

BBC Scotland News

Police
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More than 800 Police Scotland officers have been tested for coronavirus with 163 positive results.

A report on Operation Talla, the force's response to the pandemic, confirmed the figures as of 29 April.

The paper, prepared for the Scottish Police Authority, reveals the numbers requiring to self-isolate, shield or having displayed Covid-19 symptoms resulted in a peak absence rate of 3,745 on 29 March.

It also notes absence rates remain "slightly higher than would normally be seen" with 1,486 off as of 7 May.

The report described securing suitable personal protective equipment as "challenging" but confirmed more than 11,000 frontline officers and staff have now been trained, equipped or re-supplied with the necessary PPE.

Meanwhile, figures for the end of April show officers engaged with the public 19,000 times in relation to the lockdown restrictions, but enforcement action was only taken in 10% of cases.

The paper also confirmed, as of 7 May, £9.48m has been spent on Police Scotland's response to Covid-19. The figure includes goods ordered, such as PPE, and overtime.

Change to older people's care 'needed'

care
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A senior Highland councillor says there needs to be a radical change to the way care is provided for older people in the region as a result of lessons being learned from the coronavirus pandemic.

Linda Munro, chairwoman of Highland Council's health and care committee, believes more emphasis should be placed on care at home and in the community.

She says there will always need to be care homes, but more care should be delivered to older people in their own homes.

About a third of deaths from Covid-19 in the NHS Highland area have been in care homes. Ms Munro says the local authority should help to change to care services.

Decline in abuse reports does not reflect reality

Paul O'Hare

BBC Scotland News

Domestic abuse generic
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Domestic abuse reports have "marginally decreased" during the Covid-19 lockdown.

But a report to the Scottish Police Authority suggests this does not reflect the reality.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: "We consider that these figures conceal some suppressed vulnerability and risk."

The paper, published ahead of the SPA's board meeting on Wednesday, also highlights the increase in requests to the Disclosure Scotland scheme.

Last month BBC Scotland reported an 18% rise in inquiries to determine whether an individual has an abusive past, with the majority made by police officers and social workers.

There has also been a reduction in the number of child concern reports, which Mr Livingstone said "may have been caused by reduced interaction between children and support professionals".

The chief constable's report also confirms the force investigated six murders from 1-28 April, recovered drugs with a street value of £2.6m and seized more than £1m in cash.

Summer COP26 would pose 'significant challenge' for police

Paul O'Hare

BBC Scotland News

Scottish Event Campus
Scottish Event Campus

A new date for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow is expected to be set next month.

Dozens of world leaders and around 30,000 delegates were due to attend the conference in November but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Scottish Police Authority paper revealed Police Scotland was asked to assess the impact of staging the global gathering at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) over spring, summer or winter 2021.

The force identified the summer as the only period of time that would provide a "significant challenge".

This follows as Glasgow is also scheduled to host 11 matches during the rescheduled European Football Championships.

Police praise for 'remarkable level of compliance'

Drivetime with Fiona Stalker

BBC Radio Scotland

A poster about social distancing guidelines on a park gate in Glasgow
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Police Scotland's Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham insists the people of Scotland have "stepped forward to an extraordinary level" during six weeks of lockdown.

"To have only issued just over 2,200 fixed notice penalties from a nation of over five million demonstrates a remarkable level of compliance," he tells BBC Radio Scotland.

Asked if lockdown is gradually unravelling, he replies: "The evidence doesn't show that the increase in footfall or people using facilities like parks is as great as perhaps some of the anecdotes or media pictures would suggest.

"Yes, there are a few more people out and about but there are those legitimately getting back to work and things are open that weren't open previously."

My message is clear - thank you for your co-operation, keep it up."

Malcolm GrahamPolice Scotland Deputy Chief Constable

Public urged to contact police over domestic abuse concerns

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone urges anyone who may be experiencing any form of domestic abuse, harm or neglect, or has concerns about others, to contact Police Scotland.

I know private spaces, and indeed virtual spaces, are not always safe places for everyone. If you need police assistance or intervention, contact us and we will help

Iain LivingstonePolice Scotland Chief Constable

Mr Livingstone acknowledges the police officers and staff who are working "around the clock" and at times "putting themselves in harm’s way".

He also asks the people of Scotland to continue working together in their “shared mission” to reduce the spread of the virus, protect each other and save lives.

Police vehicle
BBC

Communities 'have stepped forward to do their duty'

Chief Constable
BBC

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says Police Scotland's response to helping support coronavirus measures will be assessed by:

1) How the work of officers and staff to support physical distancing contributes in some way to reducing the mortality rate

2) Whether it can maintain, and possibly enhance, a very strong relationship of trust the police have with the public

3) Whether they protect the health and safety of all officers and staff and their families

The chief constable says communities have stepped forward collectively and individually to "do their duty and help each other".

He highlights sacrifices young people are making as the are forced to miss "milestone events" and says officers are experiencing "higher levels of consent" from citizens coping with "very restrictive measures on personal freedoms".

Mr Livingstone adds that recent independent surveys suggest public confjdence in the police "remains solid" and is perhaps "even higher than it was before this emergency".

Mourners line the streets to pay tribute to paramedic

Robert black funeral
PA Media
People lined the streets of Campbeltown to pay their respects to Robert Black

People have lined the streets of Campbeltown to pay their respects to a paramedic who died after contracting Covid-19.

Robert Black, who was in his 50s and from the Argyll town, worked for the Scottish Ambulance Service but died in hospital with coronavirus.

The funeral cortege passed through Campbeltown before Mr Black was laid to rest at nearby Kilkerran Cemetery.

Scottish Ambulance Service staff across the country held a minute's silence at midday in memory of their colleague.

Police Scotland emphasises lockdown measures remain in place

‘The Herd’ - directed by Paul Fegan, music by Erland Cooper

Erland Cooper composes a piece overnight to accompany a film shot on the Isle of Skye.
Award winning musician Erland Cooper composes a piece overnight, especially for the show, to accompany a four-minute film shot on the Isle of Skye by award-winning director Paul Fegan.

Army-run mobile testing unit set up on Skye

Skye mobile testing unit
bbc

An Army-run mobile testing unit has been set up on Skye after a "significant" number of residents and staff at a care home tested positive for Covid-19.

The outbreak was first detected at Home Farm independent care home in Portree last week.

A total of 28 of the home's 34 residents and 26 of its 52 staff have tested positive.

Local MSP Kate Forbes said she had been told there was enough personal protective equipment (PPE) in the home to protect staff and residents.

'Significant' Covid-19 outbreak at Skye care home

Portree
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The outbreak has affected a care home in Portree

A "significant" number of residents and staff at a care home on Skye have tested positive with Covid-19.

The outbreak was first detected at Home Farm independent care home in Portree last week.

In a joint statement, NHS Highland and Highland Council said there was no evidence it had spread further into the community, but urged islanders to adhere to government measures to tackle the infection.

Ian Blackford, SNP MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said having such an outbreak on Skye was "shocking and worrying".

Mr Blackford said 28 of the home's 34 residents and 26 of its 52 staff had tested positive.

NHS Highland and Highland Council have not released details on the number of cases.

Read more here

Paramedic who died from Covid-19 named locally

A paramedic from Argyll who died after contracting Covid-19 has been named locally as Robert Black.

Mr Black, from Campbeltown, died in hospital in Glasgow on Saturday.

Argyll FM, where Mr Black did some work, said on its Facebook page that he was "a much loved member" of the team and would be "sorely missed".

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), which did not name Mr Black, said it was "greatly saddened" by the loss of a "dear colleague".

Two ambulances outside A&E in Glasgow
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