MORE than 140 people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules in Scotland have received fixed-penalty notices.

Police Scotland's Chief Constable Iain Livingstone gave the update while speaking to BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme.

Earlier this week, officers were given the powers under new legislation to crack down on people ignoring social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Livingstone said the “overwhelming majority” of people paying heed to the rules, but said officers will continue to take action on those who flout them.

READ MORE: Coronavirus LIVE: Scotland's death toll hits 126 as work continues on SEC hospital

He said “The level of co-operation and support from the public in terms of social distancing has been vast, overwhelming, everyone is stepping up and doing their duty.

“I said at the outset that we would use these powers only as a last resort.

"Our approach would be to engage with people and encourage people to comply with the social distancing guidelines.

"Where people refuse, where there’s absolute refusal to do the right thing by their fellow citizens, we will take action."

Mr Livingstone said most of the fines had been issued to people in groups - including house parties.

He said: “We’ve issued more than 140 fixed-penalties right across the whole of Scotland in the first week, which is very low numbers in terms of enforcement.

"But I do think it’s important to know that when people refuse to co-operate, when people refuse to do the right thing, then police will take action.”

READ MORE: Police stop NINE Glasgow men flouting lockdown travelling to England to buy cars

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.

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

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.

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