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POLICE Scotland have clamped down hard on those flouting coronavirus lockdown rules - issuing more than two dozen fines in the first weekend of new powers.

Regulations were introduced last week in a bid to stop people from spreading coronavirus in public places.

Government guidance on social distancing asks people to only leave their home for an essential purpose such as shopping for necessary food, household and medical supplies, travelling to and from work when doing so from home is not an option and daily exercise no closer than two metres from others.

Cops now have powers to enforce the coronavirus rules on staying at home and closing non-essential businesses.

Glasgow Times: Public flouting the rules at Strathclyde Country ParkPublic flouting the rules at Strathclyde Country Park

READ MORE: Strathclyde Park: Police called in for next weekend after public defy lockdown

But force chiefs say some people were still ignoring the safety concerns - with some even holding house parties. 

As a result, over the weekend, 25 fixed penalty notics were issued by the force.

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme he thought it was “strong evidence of how these extraordinary powers have had an impact in such a short space of time with communities across Scotland”.

Mr Graham said: “We’ve also received a significant number of calls firstly from people asking how do we comply with these regulations and secondly reporting people they felt were breaching them.

“We responded to those calls to make sure we could again explain why it was important, encourage people to comply with them, and in those very small number of occasions use the enforcement powers that we’ve got where that very small minority of people just refuse to comply with what is required."

Glasgow Times: Police Scotland air unit crack down with social distancing rules - issuing fines to four people in PollokPolice Scotland air unit crack down with social distancing rules - issuing fines to four people in Pollok

READ MORE: Coronavirus LIVE: 1300+ cases in Scotland and lockdown 'could last six months'

Police can direct people to return home and those in breach could be subject to a prohibition notice and if they do not comply they could be fined or prosecuted.

Fines of £30, rising to £60 if not paid within 28 days, can be issued. These penalties are doubled for each repeat offence up to a £960 cap.

Mr Graham added: “We had a number of house parties still going on we were called to attend and if people refuse to break those up then notices could be issued.

“We had groups of people outside and again if people have refused to comply then that was some of the circumstances and in a very small number of cases we issued fixed penalty notices to businesses that were still operating where it was not appropriate that they should continue to given the regulations that are in place.”

READ MORE: Police Scotland air unit crack down with social distancing rules - issuing fines to four people in Pollok

So far, 1384 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland.

Of that, 401 cases are in Greater Glasgow.

Sadly, 41 people who tested positive in Scotland have died.

Mr Graham’s comments come after images on social media showed dozens of cars at Strathclyde Country Park in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, on Sunday.

Although the guidelines allow people to take a walk as a form of exercise each day, Mr Graham said the public were still getting used to what the measures mean for daily life.

He added: “We’re working with local authorities and other bodies that run open spaces. People have been encouraged to go out and exercise, it’s very clear it’s taking a little bit of time for people to work out how this is going to operate.

“It’s such a significant change in everybody’s lives. This was made very clear last week by the Chief Constable – we’re going to do this through policing in Scotland as we always do.

“Engaging with communities, policing by consent and making sure that we do that in a courteous and respectful manner to keep the population safe.

“Of course everybody’s getting to grips with these changes that have come in so quickly.

“If there are repeated instances then the penalties rise very quickly and we’ll see if that has an impact.

“And of course, if people refuse to comply once they’ve been issued with a penalty notice, then a criminal offence has been committed and people can be arrested.”