Two people charged after being rescued from mountain in Scotland during lockdown

Two people have been charged over alleged culpable and reckless conduct after they had to be rescued from a mountain during lockdown in Scotland.

Police said the pair travelled more than 60 miles from Glasgow to climb Beinn A’ Chroin near Crianlarich in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park on Saturday.

It came on the first weekend of lockdown easing in Scotland and after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had urged people not to travel further than five miles from home and to avoid crowded parks and beauty spots.

A rescue operation was launched after police received a report of a man and woman in difficulty on the munro – a mountain in Scotland which is at least 3,000ft high – at around 2.40pm on Saturday.

Officers and members of Killin Mountain Rescue Team were involved in rescuing the pair, who police said were not suitably equipped for the climb. They were traced safe and well.

Police said that a 27-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman have been charged in connection with alleged culpable and reckless conduct and have been reported to the procurator fiscal.

Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, area commander for Stirling, said: “The actions of this man and woman and their lack of equipment not only placed themselves at risk of injury, but also the officers and mountain rescue volunteers who were called to assist them.

“The regulations remain that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home.

“We want people to enjoy our outdoor spaces safely and exercise should be done locally, not exceeding five miles from your home.

“The Chief Constable has made it clear that 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 protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”

She said that officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance.

She added: “We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP has warned that guidelines limiting the distance of recreational travel and the size of gatherings could be written into law if they are breached repeatedly.

Damon Powell, chairman of Scottish Mountain Rescue, said: “Scottish Mountain Rescue and the mountain rescue teams it represents have been humbled by the support they have received from the overwhelming majority of the hill-going public and would like to thank them again for sticking with the current restrictions.

“We are also aware how deeply frustrating it is when everyone who is making such sacrifices see people openly flouting the guidance.

“We are pleased to see the police taking action against such individuals.”