Police Scotland has issued almost 400 fines to Ayrshire residents who have breached coronavirus rules since the first lockdown was introduced in March 2020.

Figures from Police Scotland show that 376 people have been issued with a fixed penalty notice for breaching coronavirus rules in Ayrshire with 27 people being arrested.  

Police officers in the region have also had to disperse over 4,000 people since March once they have been reminded about the rules while 50 individuals were dispersed with officers using reasonable force.

In North Ayrshire 188 people have been given a fixed penalty notice with 15 arrested since the first lockdown was introduced.

In South Ayrshire 106 people have been fined with nine arrests made while in East Ayrshire 82 residents have been handed a penalty with three arrested for rule breaks.    

In the first week of 2021, eight fixed penalty notices were handed out across the region with no arrests made.

However, there were 66 incidents in the first week of 2021 where officers across Ayrshire had to disperse people and remind them of the current restrictions.

The latest data comes as mainland Scotland re-entered a full lockdown due to a rise in coronavirus cases largely down to the new, faster spreading variant of the virus.  

Speaking at a Scottish Government briefing recently, chief constable Iain Livingstone, urged residents across the country to continue to follow the rules.   

He said: “Although the restrictions have changed again, as they have done often and at times quickly, the approach of Police Scotland will not change. Our response will remain proportionate, reasonable and fair – underpinned of course by the principle of policing by consent, from which we draw our legitimacy.

“Officers and staff have overwhelmingly discharged these new responsibilities and duties with compassion and common sense, explaining the rules and helping people to do the right thing.

“But be assured, be very clear, where officers encounter wilful and blatant offences we will continue to act decisively to enforce the law, as the public would expect.

“Since the pandemic commenced, officers across Scotland have had over 100,000 interactions with their fellow members of the public regarding coronavirus compliance. We have issued over 7,000 fixed penalties and made almost 550 arrests. In addition to that we have made over 350 interventions at different premises and closed nearly 90 of them.

“Our communities have demonstrated forbearance when asked to co-operate with extensive, necessary restrictions on personal liberty, personal freedoms. Our experience over the last 10 months is that, overall, the people of Scotland have shown overwhelming support for their police service during the pandemic.

“It’s important for me to say on behalf of policing in Scotland, thank you to our fellow citizens for taking responsibility in supporting officers and staff and I ask that in this new lockdown that support and that sense of personal responsibility continues.”