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Scotland residents complain police are fining them for leaving home to buy wine, other nonessential items


'Two officers asked to look inside my bag and then fined me for only having crisps, other snacks, and a bottle of wine'

Photo by Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

Scotland residents are complaining that police are fining them for leaving home to buy wine and other nonessential items, Edinburgh Live reported.

Come again?

The outlet noted that a reader contacted the editorial staff to say she was fined 30 pounds (just over $30) for leaving her residence to buy wine and snacks.

"I was walking through Holyrood Park on Sunday afternoon (5 April) [when] two officers asked to look inside my bag, and then fined me for only having crisps, other snacks, and a bottle of wine," she told Edinburgh Live.

A West Lothian resident tweeted that "two people I know in West Lothian: a nurse in uniform leaving a patient's house and someone leaving a shop with just a bottle of wine [were] fined £30," the outlet added.

Another woman tweeted a complaint to Police Scotland that her friend was "given a fine for buying a bottle of Prosecco," Edinburgh Live added.

The outlet said United Kingdom lockdown rules set up last month state residents should be leaving their houses only for "very limited purposes," among them shopping for "basic necessities." The outlet added that that is causing confusion since there's no list defining basic necessities.

The other side of the coin

It should be noted that the woman who contacted Edinburgh Live about being fined for buying wine and snacks admitted to the outlet she had refused to comply with the officers' request to return home immediately.

In addition, a 41-year-old woman from York was fined 660 pounds (just over $825) and arrested by British Transport Police for "loitering" at Newcastle Central station on April 1, Edinburgh Live said, adding that she reportedly refused to tell police why she was traveling.

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Elsewhere in the U.K., other people have taken to social media to complain about what they claim is a "heavy-handed" enforcement of the lockdown rules.

One London resident tweeted: "Police have just fined me for taking the dog a walk at this time of night." Walking dogs is allowable exercise as long as you are from a symptom-free household and stay within walking distance of your home.

In the North of England, one man complained to Derbyshire Police that: "My wife was stopped as she got in her car after walking the dog on the way to do the weekly shop for us, her 74-year-old mother and a vulnerable neighbor. Officers not interested in reasons, they were rude, bullying, gave a £60 fine with glee."
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