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People in deprived areas more than twice as likely to get fines

People in deprived areas more than twice as likely to get fines

People living in the most deprived areas of Scotland were 2.6 times more likely to receive a fine during Covid lockdowns, figures show.

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More than 20,000 people got police fixed penalty notices during 2020/21 for breaking Covid restriction rules.

Three quarters of all fines were given to people under the age of 30, according to a University of Edinburgh study.

And more then one in four were handed out in the 10% most deprived areas.

The Scottish government said its Covid rules had been "consistent with human rights principles, necessity and proportionality".

The figures showed that people living in deprived areas were 12.6 times more likely to be handed a fine at the start of the pandemic.

However, this number reduced substantially as police dealt with breaches by people from a wider range of social backgrounds as the pandemic progressed.

Research showed that fines issued to people for breaching the Covid regulations were more likely to be paid than fines issued for anti-social behaviour.

The report analyses quarterly fines data published by the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) as well as linked administrative data from Police Scotland and the SCTS.

Edinburgh Law School's Professor Susan McVie said it was the first report to examine the payment of fixed penalties received from breaching Covid restrictions.