Edinburgh police ramp up patrols following weekend rise in park and beach gatherings - and vow to clamp down on 'willful' Covid breaches

Police are ramping up patrols across Edinburgh following an observed rise in gatherings in parks, beaches and public spaces around the city - and officers will enforce the law where they encounter “willful breaches.”

Particular issues were identified at Portobello Beach and the Meadows last weekend.

In a statement shared on social media, Edinburgh Police Division said: “We will have increased patrols in our communities to explain the regulations and to encourage people to do the right thing.

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“Where officers encounter wilful breaches they will act decisively to enforce the law.”

Police said they recognise the impact of current Covid restrictions on people’s lives but said it is clear “significant sacrifices are vital to help suppress the spread of coronavirus.”

The statement said the Chief Constable has made clear their approach throughout the pandemic will not change and officers will continue to support people to follow the regulations.

On Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a tightening of lockdown rules around takeaway and click and collect services in Scotland which will come into force on Saturday.

A ban on drinking alcohol in all level four areas - all mainland Scotland and some islands - will also be introduced, meaning takeaway pints can not be consumed on the street or in public places.

Police will increase patrols in parts of Edinburgh following a rise in gatherings last weekend.

Another new rule is that people must only leave home for essential purposes and may not stay out for other purposes afterwards.

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Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly urged people to minimise interactions to the bare essentials to slow the spread of the virus.

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