MSP concern on confusion over policing coronavirus restrictions

Claire Baker MSP (Pic: George McLuskie)Claire Baker MSP (Pic: George McLuskie)
Claire Baker MSP (Pic: George McLuskie) | JPIMedia Resell
Call for clarity to ensure support continues

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, highlighted the issue a examples of different approach to policing emerged between Scotland and England.

Social media claims suggest there is confusion when it comes to travel – and that could lead to people ignoring the restrictions.

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Ms Baker has written to Iain Livingstone, chief constable of Police Scotland, and called for a public information camapaign to ensure people know what they can – and cannot – do.

She said: “While levels of compliance with the guidelines across Scotland are high, following the revised information issued in England there has emerged some confusion over whether that guidance also applies here. For example there have been reports of people making unnecessary car journeys in order to walk or cycle at a distance from their home, which goes against the Scottish guidance.

“Across social media we have seen coverage of the updated guidance for England and many people may be unaware that this does not apply in Scotland. We need to ensure people continue to follow the guidance in place across Scotland and that police continue to work with the public to ensure their position on this is clear.

“I am writing to the Chief Constable of Police Scotland to seek reassurance that Police Scotland will continue to take an appropriate approach to handling situations where people may be incorrectly following guidance which does not apply in Scotland. We do not want to see people unduly punished for following guidance they believed to apply in Scotland but we must do all we can to limit the spread of coronavirus by practising social distancing and following the Scottish guidelines.”

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The advice in Scotland remains to only travel on essential journeys, to exercise once a day and to adhere to social distancing rules, including not visiting friends or others outwith your own household. Essential reasons for travel cover going to the shops or delivering items to a vulnerable person but do not include driving to the countryside for exercise.

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