Nicola Sturgeon says new 'rule of six' not about 'spying on your neighbours'

The new regulations came into force in Scotland today

Monday, 14th September 2020, 4:45 am
Updated Monday, 14th September 2020, 4:38 pm
New rules about the number of households who can meet at one time have come into force in Scotland today

Nicola Sturgeon has said Scots should not be “spying on your neighbours” following a UK Government minister calling on people in England to ring the police if they are concerned the new rules are being breached.

The First Minister was answering a question at her daily coronavirus briefing about the new restrictions which restrict meetings to just six people from two households and whether she echoed the suggestion from UK policing minister Kit Malthouse.

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He had said that if people saw people meeting in large groups, worried bystanders “should think about” calling the police.

Earlier in the year when asked whether she was urging Scotland to become a nation of ‘curtain twitchers’ by asking people to contact the police about house parties, the First Minister rejected the characterisation.

Today, Ms Sturgeon said she preferred looking at the issue through the lens of "collective solidarity”.

She said: “I and everybody who has listened to me throughout this will have formed, I hope, a very firm impression that I think we are better served by a sense of collective solidarity in this pandemic.

"We’re doing things for ourselves, our families but for each other. We can’t get through this as a five million individuals, we can only get through it as a society pulling together.

"I don’t want us to see it if we can at all avoid it as spying on your neighbours, reporting your neighbours to the police, I want all of us to come at this from why we’re doing this is to protect each other and I think that has served us well so far and I think it will continue to serve us well.

"That said, the Chief Constable has said this that if you are worried that somebody close to you or physically in close proximity to you or someone you are aware of is flagrantly breaching the rules and having a house part or something, the police are there to deal with that.

"It shouldn’t be for you to go and have to deal with that it should be for the police and they will come and deal with it in a proportionate and sensitive way and where necessary they will take enforcement action.”

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