Weekend patrols in Midlothian

Friday August 7th 2020

Police


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Patrols launched over this weekend will see Police and Midlothian Council officers cracking down on anyone found not adhering to national coronavirus safety guidance.

Teams will be out on the streets checking, for example, people are wearing face coverings in shops and observing physical distancing guidelines. Those found in breach could potentially be fined £60 by Police if they refuse to comply.

Midlothian’s Chair of the Police and Fire and Rescue Board, Councillor Stephen Curran said:

“Keeping Midlothian residents safe is our top priority and we need to avoid a lockdown like the one in Aberdeen at all costs.

“I’m sure the vast majority of us are being vigilant by following physical distancing and hand hygiene guidelines but if even just a few people are not, it could mean another spike in coronavirus cases and potentially deaths.”

Jim Robertson, deputy area commander for Midlothian, said:

“The Chief Constable has 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 stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

“Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance. We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.

“Over recent months Police, along with Midlothian Council officers and other key local partners have pro-actively engaged with Midlothian businesses and communities to keep people safe.”

Cllr Curran said residents shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if they see someone else flaunting the guidelines.

He said: “Asking people nicely to keep their distance and wear a face covering is normally enough to get people to comply. However, if you know someone who is consistently not following the guidance or maybe a neighbour who has come back from holiday and not gone into quarantine, when required to do so, then call.”

Anyone served a Fixed Penalty is fined £60 for a first offence although this is discounted to £30 if you pay within 28 days.

The council can issue Prohibition Notices to make sure workplaces and businesses are complying with the law and are looking after the health and welfare of their staff and customers.

To report concerns about national guidance breaches then call Midlothian Police on 101.

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