TWO prisoners who were released early under emergency Covid-19 laws have re-offended, Scotland’s most senior police officer has confirmed. 

Up to 400 low-risk inmates were eligible to be released early in a bid to allow prisons to put social distancing measures in place during the lockdown. 

The early release rule did not apply to those convicted of terror or sexual offences from early release, as well as anyone posing a threat to an identified person. Prison wardens are albe to veto any decision. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: Prison governors to have final say over early releases

Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, said that re-offending rates of those released early had been “very, very low” with authorities only aware of two out of the almost 300 people released who have offended. 

Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham - the leader of Police Scotland's response to Covid-19 - said early release had not been "wholly without incident". 

Mr Livingstone said: "As of yesterday, we think there is almost 300 people who have been released back into the community and actually there has only been, as of yesterday, two individuals who have come to our notice for reoffending." 

Mr Livingstone added the release of prisoners was "not without risk".  

He added: "We've been working very closely with the Scottish Prison Service, very closely with the third sector and other agencies in the community that provide support for people and their families when they're released from prisons." 

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He said the initiative to release the prisoners had been subject to "rigorous debate and preparation". 

He added: "The Cabinet Secretary for Justice made it very clear that it wouldn't include people convicted of sexual offences, it wouldn't include people with a history of domestic abuse and there would be risk assessments made against each and every individual who has been released. 

"The reason for that was for the public health imperative that existed."