Report your neighbour

Tuesday August 11th 2020

Police Scotland

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

People have been urged by a local councillor to report their neighbours to police if they spot them flouting social distancing measures.

Midlothian councillor Stephen Curran spoke out about people who ignored the rules after the local authority and police launched weekend patrols to check the rules were being followed.

And he urged residents in the county not to be afraid to report anyone they saw either refusing to follow social distancing, wear face coverings or breaking quarantine after returning from holiday.

Mr Curran, who chairs the council’s police and fire and rescue board, 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.”

He advised calling Midlothian Police on 101 with any concerns about breaches of restrictions.

His comments came as Midlothian Council launched patrols on the streets of its towns over the weekend to crack down on anyone failing to follow current restrictions.

The joint police and community wardens patrols were checking people were wearing face coverings in shops and sticking to social distancing.

Anyone caught breaching the rules could face a £60 fine from police.

Mr Curran said the move was to help ensure the county did not face a situation like the one which saw Aberdeen go back into lockdown.

He said: “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.”

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