Coronavirus Scotland: Two Edinburgh cops ‘assaulted and car trashed’ as they broke up illegal house partyby Rebecca Gray
TWO cops were allegedly assaulted and their car trashed when they broke up an illegal house party this weekend.
The officers were called to a bash in Muirhouse, Edinburgh when they were allegedly set upon in the early hours of Sunday morning.
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Police said windows of their squad car were also smashed when trouble broke out at the party at 5.35am.
Two men - both aged 47 - were arrested and were due to appear in court.
Four other people were arrested and one fixed penalty notice was issued as police swooped on 405 banned house parties across the country this weekend.
A 21-year-old man was arrested and charged for allegedly obstructing officers as they responded to a report of a house party at a tower block in Muirhouse, Motherwell, at around 11.30pm on Friday.
He will be subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal.
Officers responded to 1852 reports of such incidents across the country - an increase of 41% compared to the same weekend last year.
Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “The figures from this weekend show that we will use the powers we have to disperse parties which breach the regulations and will enforce where necessary.
"We will not tolerate blatant disregard for the legislation which is there to help stop the spread of the virus.
“I’m extremely disappointed to learn that two officers were allegedly assaulted while responding to a party in Edinburgh.
“Our officers find themselves dealing with situations on a daily basis to protect the people and communities we serve, and are trained to a high level to deal with violent and confrontational situations.
"However, being assaulted is not simply part of the job and it cannot be tolerated.
“The Chief Constable made it clear that assaults against officers and staff is utterly unacceptable in his public pledge made to tackle this last month.”
DCC Graham added: “The majority of people have been complying with the law and we know that public confidence in the policing approach we have taken is high.
“Our approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance, and encourage compliance, only using enforcement as a last resort.
“We will continue with that approach, but we will not hesitate to use enforcement action where it is necessary.
"We have had almost 68,000 interactions with the public since the start of this emergency and have had to take enforcement action on only around 3600 occasions.
“However, we will not tolerate blatant disregard for the law, which is in place to help stop the spread of the virus, and we have been using our powers to disperse large groups of people at house parties.
“The Chief Constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”