A report published by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) has found police enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions to have been “fair and proportionate”. The group, chaired by John Scott QC, published the report ahead of a SPA board meeting which took place on the 25th August 2021.
Mr Scott hailed Police Scotland’s “four Es’ approach of ‘engage, explain, encourage and enforce’” as successful, and noted that “most of the significant legislative restrictions related to the pandemic have now been removed”.
There were 17,978 enforcements by police officers from the beginning of the pandemic until the end of June 2021. This included 17,006 fixed-penalty notices and 972 arrests. Police reported 2,221 suspected offences to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), 46.7% of which were brought to court, and around 28.1% were dealt with by direct measures, such as a fine. Other cases either saw no action taken (4.1%), with 21.1% of cases still awaiting decisions.
Mr Scott said: “The level of engagement with the public has been high and the use of enforcement has been low. The number of people who have been impacted from the point of view of criminal justice contact has been extremely small.”