Statement from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM on coronavirus
9pm Monday evening
Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM.
Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM said: “The response to the coronavirus has escalated significantly in recent days and circumstances continue to develop at a rapid pace.
“I have always been clear that the Police Service of Scotland operates for the ultimate benefit of our fellow citizens and it is the consent of our communities from which we gain our authority and legitimacy.
“Your assistance, support and co-operation is vital during this critical period and I am grateful to the overwhelming majority who have complied with the significant sacrifices and changes to their lives that are needed to protect society.
“Our officers and staff are displaying great strength and resilience as they support the work of health professionals and wider society in what is a national effort.
“Yesterday, officers served emergency closure orders on the small number of licensed premises failing to comply with a Government request to close on the grounds of the threat posed to public safety.
“We are carefully monitoring the progress of emergency legislation relating to COVID-19 and we will continue to work with the Government about what is being asked of the public and the enforcement we will take where necessary.
“My priority, as always, is to ensure the people of Scotland are protected and policed effectively.
“Those breaking the law will be dealt with appropriately to ensure the public is kept safe from risk and harm.
“I urge you all to stay informed about developments and reflect on how you go about your lives during these difficult days.
“We, in Police Scotland, will continue to focus on public service and we must all work to support the national effort.”
Chief Constable Livingstone later spoke about social distancing.
He said: “We are fully behind the new measures announced by the UK and Scottish Governments to increase social distancing, and I urge and expect everyone to comply with them.
“We are aware of the proposed legislation in relation to coronavirus and are carefully considering the implications in this very fast moving situation, which presents the gravest of threats to the nation.
“In the meantime, Police Scotland has a clear, positive duty to both protect life and improve the safety and well-being of people across Scotland, while supporting the government and health agencies in our fight against this pandemic.
“Therefore, until the new legislation is in place, we will be increasing police patrols in key areas across the country to engage with and provide guidance to anyone in contravention of the measures.”
Meanwhile, Jackie Baillie, left, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, and Scottish Labour Deputy Leader candidate, has made the decision to end all campaigning in light of the escalating covid-19 pandemic.
She said: ““I have decided to suspend all campaigning by my team for the rest of the Scottish Labour Deputy Leadership campaign.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented our country with an unprecedented and formidable challenge. We must put Party politics to one side in order to fight this together. I am using my position as an MSP to ensure that businesses, communities and people across Scotland receive the help and support that they need.
“Thank you to those who have voted for me, I am truly humbled by the support that I have received, but my judgement is that all of my focus should be on the coronavirus pandemic and nothing else should distract from that.”