Europe

Scotland doubling police on border ahead of 'strict' travel ban

Police Scotland will double its presence along the border with England after the First Minister announced tougher Covid restrictions this month.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Nicola Sturgeon announced there would be a ‘strict travel ban’ preventing people from moving to other parts of the UK from Scotland over the end of the Christmas period. The restrictions will come into force on from 12am on Boxing Day.

Chief Constable lain Livingstone noted that it would not be ‘appropriate or proportionate for officers to establish checkpoints or roadblocks to simply enforce travel restrictions’. He instead said that ‘highly visible patrols’ would be taking place on the roads.

In a statement, he continued: ‘Today, I have authorised the doubling of our operational presence in the Border areas of Scotland.

‘These highly visible patrols will be proactively deployed on our road networks to continue our operational activity to ensure drivers and vehicles are in a fit condition to drive.

‘The patrols will also deter anyone who might be considering breaching the coronavirus travel restrictions.’

Mr Livingstone went on to say he expected roads to be ‘quieter than usual’ over the coming days. The planned easing of restrictions during the festive period in Scotland are now limited to just Christmas Day, as they are also in Wales and England.

He went on: ‘We have been clear throughout this public health crisis that your police service is here to support our collective effort to combat coronavirus.

‘Though the rules have changed often and, at times, quickly, officers and staff will continue with common sense, empathy and discretion to work with our fellow citizens to help keep everyone safe.

‘It is the consent of the public from which policing in Scotland draws its legitimacy. As our communities expect, where officers encounter wilful, persistent or flagrant breaches we will act decisively to enforce the law.’

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