POLICE issued two fines and charged another two people with culpable and reckless conduct after emergency services were called out to a Helensburgh and Lomond mountain on separate occasions.

Officers attended the Cobbler car park in Arrochar on Saturday afternoon, February 13 following a report of a man who had got himself into difficulty while climbing the 884-metre peak, also known as Ben Arthur, with a friend.

A single vehicle registered to a male from the Bellshill area was found at the site, and the Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) were called out.

The hillwalking pair were eventually located on the mountain at around 4pm, some three hours after police arrived.

According to police, it was apparent neither male had any winter climbing experience, suitable clothing, equipment or training and had quickly got into difficulty on the ice.

Once safe, the duo, both 23, were identified as being from Airdrie and Bellshill.

Police said that due to the MRT and officers being called to the scene and the danger the rescuers faced, coupled with the flagrant breach of Covid travel restrictions, both men were charged with culpable and reckless conduct and will be subject of a report to the procurator fiscal.

Days before that incident, shortly before 11pm on Tuesday, February 9, police received a call from a concerned Arrochar resident who had reportedly spotted a torch being flashed on the mountain.

Officers from Helensburgh attended, one of whom was a Mountain Rescue Team member, and upon their arrival in the area they could see a torch light making progress down the mountain.

A lone vehicle was found in the Cobbler car park and checks confirmed the owner to reside in Clydebank.

While checks were carried out at the registered keeper’s address, police again observed the torch light on the hill, now only 10 minutes from the bottom, and the MRT was not called out as a result.

Two men eventually returned to the vehicle and they were identified as a 46-year-old and a 45-year-old, both from Clydebank.

Officers say the pair were educated on the current travel restrictions and both were issued with fixed penalties for breaching lockdown rules on non-essential journeys.

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