Chief constable promises ‘decisive action’ amid concerns over illegal house parties

Police Scotland’s chief constable has warned “decisive action” will be taken to halt the concerning number of illegal house parties being held in breach of Covid-19 regulations.

Sep 29, 2020
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone

Iain Livingstone said officers responded to complaints of at least 300 house parties across Scotland between Friday and Sunday morning.

More than 100 fixed penalties were issued and 14 arrests made, and officers had to force entry to households on three occasions.

Police Scotland said analysis suggests house parties are being held across the country in every community and age group.

“There is no doubt that house parties or house gatherings are not permitted and there can be no excuse for arranging, attending, or hosting a house party,” said Mr Livingstone. “It is against the law.

“Where officers encounter blatant, wilful or persistent breaches, we will take decisive action to enforce the law.”

However, Mr Livingstone thanked the vast majority of the public who over the weekend cooperated with new regulations, including a 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants and increased restrictions on indoor visits to private homes.

He said additional officers were deployed to support local authorities to ensure pubs and clubs closed at 10pm with very few issues and no premises closed by police.

“Highly restrictive measures on our lives, freedoms, and daily routines are in place as, collectively, we respond to this public health emergency,” said Mr Livingstone.

“Policing is here to support people and to help everyone to do the right thing, to prevent the spread of the virus. Officers will use good sense and exercise the discretion that is integral to the Office of Constable, to work with citizens to support the implementation of these new rules.”

Mr Livingstone added: “The experience of the last six months is that the great majority of people are taking personal responsibility to do the right thing because they know that at this time physical distancing is the significant intervention that can be made to save lives.

“I am grateful for the support and cooperation of the public and the licensed trade, which continued over the weekend. I also want to again underline my admiration and compassion for young people and students who have responded so well to the pandemic at this crucial time of their lives.”

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