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Coronavirus / Four fines handed out by isles police since lockdown enforcement began

FOUR fixed penalty fines have been handed out by police in Shetland over the last month as officers enforced lockdown measures, according to new figures.

Between Friday 27 March, when police in Scotland were given enforcement powers, and Thursday (23 April) there were 78 instances in Shetland of people being dispersed after being informed or instructed.

While there have been four fines, no one has been arrested in Shetland for disobeying lockdown rules.

Highlands and Islands divisional commander chief superintendent George Macdonald, meanwhile, has thanked the vast majority of the public for their ongoing support and cooperation.

“The public’s response has been extremely positive and only on very rare occasions have officers had to issue warnings or take enforcement action where individuals have flouted regulations and failed to comply repeatedly with police direction,” he said.

“I appreciate that as the restrictions persist and the weather continues to be so good, it may feel tempting to spend time more outdoors and to visit the countless remote and rural beauty spots we are fortunate to have across the Highlands and Islands.

“However we need everybody, collectively to play their part, and the message is clear – you should only leave the house for very limited purposes including buying basic necessities such as food and medicine, for daily exercise, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done at home.

“Do not travel to take exercise, do not hold gatherings with people from outwith your household and do not hold house parties.”

Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie, a former policeman, said: “It is heartening to see that the overwhelming majority of people in Highlands and Islands continue to comply with the emergency regulations. The current situation is strange, and we are all being asked to act differently.

“But the sense of community spirit that has come to the fore in recent weeks has been remarkable and I commend all those who are saving lives by heeding the advice and staying at home.”