COVID-19 Police Scotland guidelines and resourcing: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. What rules, regulations and guidelines are Police Scotland currently required to enforce, and to what extent are these being enforced? Please provide specific regulations alongside target and actual performance
a. Examples would include reported incidents of Covid-19 laws broken compared to police attendance at reported instances, police actions taken following reported incidents, penalty notices issued etc

2. What additional resources have been allocated to Police Scotland since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 to enforce rules, regulations and laws passed to prevent the spread of the virus?
a. Please provide a breakdown of resource changes, how these resources have been allocated, and any measures of effectiveness in place including performance against these measures.

3. What rules, regulations and guidelines are Police Scotland expected to be required to enforce, and to what extent will these be enforced?
Please provide specific rules and regulations alongside target and actual performance metrics.

4. Are there plans to further increase resources for Police Scotland in line with new or tightened rules, regulations and laws designed to reduce or prevent the spread of Covid-19?
a. If such plans exist, please share these in full. If this is not possible, please share all possible details, including dates and values of resource increases, and expected performance improvement measures

5. Are any resources out-with Police Scotland allocated to enforcement of Covid-19 rules, regulations and legislation? If so please provide details in line with points 1-4 as above.

6. What legal responsibilities do individuals have under current rules, regulations and guidelines in relation to reducing or preventing transmission of Covid-19, including as these relate to the actions of other people?
a. This includes any legal obligations individuals have relating to reporting of breaching of rules, regulations or legislation by other people 

7. What rights do individuals have under current rules, regulations and guidelines in relation to reducing or preventing transmission of Covid-19, including as these relate to the actions of other people?
a. For example, do individuals have the right to challenge behaviour they believe to be non-compliant?
b. Do individuals have the right not to have behaviour challenged other than by designated authorities?

8. Is there / are there defined or supported roles for community organisations in preventing or reducing Covid-19 infections? If so, can you provide support, resources and / or further information this please?"


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we do not have some of the information is that other organisations are responsible for that type of information.

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in the format you asked for and I have indicated who you should contact for the information we do not hold:

1. The regulations and restrictions that Police Scotland are required by statute to enforce can be found in The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 -
Enforcement of these regulations, including operational activity, performance and outcomes are matters for the Chief Constable of Police Scotland with oversight by the Scottish Police Authority. As such you may wish to contact Police Scotland directly at :

PO Box 2460
G40 9BA

1a. Enforcement data is a matter for the Chief Constable. The latest data can be found on the Police Scotland website -
It is important to note that the presentation and format of publication is an operational matter for the Chief Constable.

2. This year the Scottish Government has increased funding for policing by £60 million to more than £1.2 billion. This 5.1% rise, compared to 2019-20, is ensuring that Police Scotland can maintain officer numbers and enhance its community policing capability.
Recruitment into Police Scotland continues to be strong and the total number of officers is 17,273 (as at 30 June 2020).
2a. The allocation of resources and measurement of their effectiveness are matters for the Chief Constable and the Scottish Police Authority who provide oversight of policing in Scotland.

3. I refer you to my answer to question 1

4. We are working closely with the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the policing budget, recognising that the position is likely to change over time.
The future budget requirements of the Scottish Police Authority will be considered as part of the Scottish Government’s 2021-22 budget setting process.
4a. I refer to my answers in question 4 and 2.

5. The Scottish Government has a range of high level responsibilities that include funding for local authorities. The Scottish Government has committed almost £330 million of direct support for our partners in local government including local authorities, who have an enforcement responsibility in relation to specified premises, events and public outdoor places.

6. Individuals have a legal responsibility to comply with current Regulations laid down in statute, for example, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 in relation to measures set out to reduce or prevent the transmission of coronavirus. Where guidelines are in place, (for example, in maintaining a two metre distance), there is no legal obligation to comply, however, the Scottish Government would urge individuals to follow the guidance to protect not only themselves but also others in the community.
It remains vitally important that members of the public continue to adhere to the current Regulations, wear face coverings where required and maintain physical distancing in order to protect everyone’s health and to reduce the risk of transmission.
6a. Currently there is not a legal obligation to report any breaching of rules, regulations or legislation by other members of the public.

7. This question is unclear. If it relates to rights of an individual not to place oneself in a position where one may become infected, for example, by returning to a workplace where that individual does not believe to be Covid secure then that individual can raise enquiries about working safely with the Health and Safety Executive and with Local Authority Environmental Health Officers.
Please see the following link to the Scottish Government publications page - This page contains all the guidance, published by the Scottish Government, relating to the Covid-19 virus.
7a. Whilst individuals can challenge non-compliant behaviour they do not have the right in law to do so, and indeed may commit an offence in doing so. Some people will be exempt from, for instance, wearing a face covering, and may feel threatened by being challenged in this way. 
With regards to Police Scotland officers challenging non-compliant behaviour the Chief Constable has made it clear that officers will act with discretion and common sense but they, and The Scottish Government, expect the public to act responsibly in order to save lives. The Scottish Government continue to ask for people to be aware of the current regulations and guidance and to treat each other with respect and kindness.
7b. I refer to my answer in question 6a.

8. The Scottish Government are not aware of any defined or supported roles for community organisations in preventing or reducing Covid-19 infections.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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