DCC Kerr statement on weekend arrests
Published 1 June 2020
Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said:
“The increase in people out and about following the relaxing of some of the restrictions has seen a rise in crime levels, reflected in the number of arrests over the weekend.
“The efforts of officers and staff throughout this challenging pandemic has been extraordinary and policing continues in all our communities as we face increasing demands on the service.
“The figures from the last 72 hours – high numbers of dispersals and no arrests relating to coronavirus – show how we are continuing to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance. We will only use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation, and our overall approach will continue to be one based on common sense and discretion.
"The Regulations remain that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home.
"The Chief Constable has also made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading. This is a responsibility on us all, and one that we all have a civic duty to take seriously.
"We absolutely recognise that people have made significant sacrifices until now and, while the temptation may be to head straight for one of our beauty spots, please use your best judgement and avoid going to places which are normally busy during the good weather.
"Complying with the legislation about meeting only one other household outdoors at any one time and following the Scottish Government's guidance about avoiding travelling long distances will stop our parks, beaches, lochs and hills from becoming over-crowded.
"We all want to enjoy our outdoor spaces safely and, whilst our officers will continue to robustly tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, please take reasonable steps to keep yourself safe and act responsibly."