People living in the most deprived parts of Scotland are more than 10 times more likely to be penalised for coronavirus breaches than those in wealthy areas, according to a new report.
Professor Susan McVie, of the University of Edinburgh, found those living in the 10% least well-off Scottish neighbourhoods were 11.2 times more likely to receive a fine than those in the 10% least deprived.
Her findings were published in a paper on Monday used by the Independent Advisory Group on Police Use of Temporary Powers Relating to the Coronavirus Crisis.
It said: “Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that the overall use of enforcement was very low, even amongst those living in the most deprived communities.
“Expressed as a rate per 10,000 of the population aged 16 or over, only 27.3 people per 10,000 living in the 10% most deprived communities were issued with an FPN as a result of breaching the Coronavirus Regulations.
“Nevertheless, these findings do reflect an additional degree of inequality in the way the pandemic was experienced amongst some people who live in communities that are already typified by poorer health, economic, educational and environmental outcomes.”
Findings used in the advisory group’s report t the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) show that women, older people and those with a prior criminal history in the most deprived areas had a higher than average likelihood of receiving a fine.
The paper claims it is was not possible to explain these patterns “although they reflect an additional degree of inequality” in the way the pandemic has been experienced amongst certain communities.
Meanwhile, a separate report to the SPA from Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone shows that more than 400 staff and officers have received their first coronavirus vaccine dose.
These were said to be provided by local health boards which had a surplus.
The reports will be discussed at the body’s next meeting on Wednesday.