Coronavirus: Two charged after 300 people attend Midlothian house party

Party house

Image caption

The Mansion House was available to rent online

Two men have been charged after a house party was attended by about 300 people in Midlothian.

Officers were called to the Mansion House of Kirkhill in Gorebridge at 00:20 on Sunday 30 August.

The group was dispersed and a 29-year-old man was issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Two men, aged 20 and 29, have since been arrested and charged in connection with the incident and are due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The 12-bedroom property which can sleep up to 34 guests is advertised online and, according to the owners, had been rented out for the weekend.

Image caption

Discarded bottles were lying around the house after the party

Meanwhile, Police Scotland has revealed its officers attended 391 house parties across Scotland between Friday and Sunday in response to reports of alleged breaches of coronavirus regulations – a 23% increase compared with the previous weekend.

Those at the gatherings were given advice, dispersed and 18 fixed penalty notices were issued.

Officers also attended 2,127 incidents over the weekend after reports of noise, public nuisance and disturbance – up 449 on the same period last year.

‘Personal responsibility’

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “Our approach has been really consistent throughout the course of dealing with this pandemic.

“We are trying to educate and encourage everybody to comply with the law for the right reasons, we are expecting people to take personal responsibility.

“These figures show that we will intervene, using the powers we have to disperse indoor gatherings which breach the regulations, and will enforce where necessary.”

He added: “It is important to emphasise we will not tolerate blatant disregard for the current legislation which is in place to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I would reiterate we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”

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