Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Celtic v Rangers - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - May 1, 2022 Police inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

An anonymous ‘Police leader’ told the Scottish Daily Express there’s an increasing amount of ‘violent needs’ using football as a vehicle to be destructive and cause havoc.

These comments come after The Rangers put out a statement claiming Police Scotland didn’t do their jobs properly on Sunday. In a one sided statement, lacking in any self awareness, the Ibrox club took pot shots at Celtic fans and accused them of throwing things into the away support.

From subsequent footage we can see chairs being thrown from the away end into the home end with missiles getting thrown back. It was clear things were thrown from both sets of supporters, yet we read the utter drivel from a club who are still investigating how a member of Celtic’s staff was left with a head injury after a bottle was thrown from the stands.

Soccer Football – Scottish Premiership – Celtic v Rangers – Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – May 1, 2022 Rangers’ Amad Diallo is shown a yellow card by referee John Beaton Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Police Scotland are criticised often from both sets of supporters and the wider football community in Scotland for their attitude towards football fans. I’ve witnessed the heavy handed behaviour of Police Scotland and have also felt intimidated and treated like a criminal just going to watch my team play football.

There’s a distrust between football fans and the Police which was only exacerbated by the Offensive behaviour act which criminalised innocent football fans for years before it was abolished.

Speaking about the game on Sunday, the anonymous

He said: “I think it is well recognized that the majority are there to watch the game but unfortunately in my own experience there is an increasing culture of violent neds who use football – all clubs not just Old Firm – as an excuse to behave in any way they see fit.

“There were 60,000 fans yesterday [Sunday] and a few hundred cops. Even if one per cent are trouble makers, police are hugely outnumbered, which if you start making large numbers of arrests at the time only reduces resources due to it being a minimum of two cops to each arrestee, in reality probably more due to what is needed to deal with the dynamics of a hostile crowd.”

“It’s far from a perfect organisation for sure, but take bottle throwing in the stadium for instance – the police draw a lot of criticism for that, perhaps even for the clubs themselves, seemingly completely overlooking the fact that the safety of the event sits firstly with the host club and the stewards they employ.

“Police are not responsible for turnstile searches and therefore any prohibited items that get into the stadium sits with the stewards.”

Another officer claimed while the game itself was difficult to manage, it was the aftermath that was the most problematic.

He said: “People make lots of the singing at games, however, it’s impossible for the police to arrest thousands of people.

“Cops will never like policing these games, however, they usually pass without much incident. It’s the fallout afterwards – the domestics – which is bad.

“We can’t really do much at the time of the game cops storming into the stands will only aggravate things.”

Any large event can be difficult to handle but the Police can make it hostile by treating normal fans with disdain. Football can be over policed in many ways. I’ve been to commonwealth events at Hampden and I’ve been to football games at Hampden and the Police’s demeanour during both were night and day.

There has to be real engagement and an attempt to weed out the trouble makers without criminalising normal football going fans.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Far too many fans bringing in half Buckie bottles , flares, offensive banners etc etc nowadays due to lax or even non-existent stewarding and policing.
    Hardly surprising then that the neds took over ages ago, setting off flares, object-throwing, bigoted songs, all routine at every home game now, yet club continues to do nothing.

  2. I saw a policeman on sunday with an orange skip hat on
    Now I could be wrong but I dont think an orange skip hat is park of a policeman’s uniform
    But it struck me more that his superior would have allowed him to wear it at that venue in particular

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