Police officers broke social distancing rules during an NHS tribute event in Fife last night. 

Police Scotland has revealed that cops involved in last night's "clap for carers" outside Victoria Hospital have been informally reprimanded over "breaches" of coronavirus safety guidelines. 

At the event, dozens of officers stood shoulder to shoulder alongside NHS workers.

But they failed to maintain the distance needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Chief Inspector Tom Brown, Local Area Commander for Central Division, Fife, said: "This event was arranged with the best intentions to provide visibility and recognition to all staff who are caring for us during this difficult time in line with the national #clapforcarers campaign.

"Unfortunately during this event there were breaches of social distancing guidelines.

"Advice was given to those taking part about the importance of social distancing to prevent future breaches and no further action was required."

Pictures and footage of the event were shared on Twitter. 

Glenrothes Police tweeted: "Big thanks to all the NHS workers across the UK from all the Emergency Services who came together tonight at Victoria Hospital to show our appreciation. #OurNHS #COVID19."

Officers who took part in The Fife NHS tribute were heavily criticised on social media.

"So much for public gatherings of more than two people currently being banned," one Twitter user roared.

"I’m pretty certain these lockdown rules apply to everyone?

"I think if you are the photos and the videos taken there are clearly a number of members of the public in this, have to agree all for appreciation but this was not your smartest efforts," another exclaimed. 

One of the commenters questioned why police were able to stop ordinary people from hanging around in groups but congregate in large numbers themselves. 

"This is disgraceful," they opined. 

"I can't believe the stupidity of clapping for the NHS without social distance and then compounding the stupidity by posting photographs!

"I will be saving these photos to show to any police officer who uses current legislation to stop me doing something."

However, some commenters told a different story. 

"My wife works at the Vic and was there last night," one person tweeted.

"She says she hadn’t seen such grins on her colleagues’ faces for weeks.

"The event took place after a shift change, so folk in civilian clothing are staff going home. I think there are too many haters. See it for what it is."

A similar tribute took place on Westminster Bridge, London, last night when officers and members of the public gathered last night to clap for people working on the frontline - and were also immediately slammed on social media for failing to observe the rules the rest of are following.

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