Police urge caution after Midlothian men charged for reckless behaviour during hiking trip to Ben More

Four men from Midlothian, all aged around 23 and 24, were charged after travelling to Crianlarich in one vehicle to climb Ben More.

They had to be talked off the hill via phone and text from both the police and mountain rescue team. They also required ambulance assistance and the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter was called out.

The men were uninjured in the incident which took place on Saturday, January 16.

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Police urge caution after arrests made due to reckless behaviour in Scotland's beauty spots

The week before, a family from Edinburgh travelled to the Biggar area for a walk and had to be rescued after their car was trapped in the snow.

The Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue and local police were called to assist.

It is a breach of coronavirus regulations for people to leave their local authority area for anything other than essential travel.

From December 2020 to January 2021, Police Scotland received 46 calls to search and rescue incidents and charged six people with culpable and reckless conduct.

Six fixed penalty notices were also issued.

Police Scotland has ordered increased patrols in beauty areas including the Pentland Hills Regional Park, Lomond Hills Regional Park and popular walking routes in Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “I fully appreciate that the restrictions affect how we live our lives and spend our free time, however, the best way to stay safe is to stay at home. To protect the NHS we also need to protect our volunteers and emergency service colleagues who, by

the nature of their work, put themselves at risk each time they’re called to an incident.

“Particularly at the weekends we are seeing people travelling for leisure purposes out with their local authority areas and sometimes getting caught out by the change in weather conditions.

“We have been very clear that we will not be routinely stopping vehicles or setting up road blocks. However, officers may in the course of their duties come across people who are travelling from one local authority area to another.

“If you do find yourself in need of assistance because of being lost, injured, or in an emergency when outdoors, then phone 999, ask for police then Mountain Rescue. You will be helped.”

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