Police Scotland is asking fans of Celtic and Rangers to be on their best behaviour this weekend as the two play out their Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Sunday.  “The game kicks off at 12 noon and will be televised live, and in many licensed premises in Dumfries and Galloway explains Chief Inspector Stephen Stiff.

This will be the first meeting of the two teams for some time and has the added pressure of being a cup semi-final.  History indicates that there is a rise in alcohol related violence, including domestic violence, around an Old Firm game and as such we have been proactive in highlighting this to licensees across the region who will be screening the match live this weekend.

“It should be noted by supporters that any premises (other than private premises) which televises a live designated football match will be deemed to be a ‘football ground’ under the auspices of Section 51 of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006.  As such anyone who is subject to a Football Banning Order should not be permitted access to licensed premises whilst a designated football match is being televised. Similarly, any significant relevant offences committed by a person within licensed premises at a time when a designated match is being televised, will be applicable for consideration of making a Football Banning Order against the person.

“Police Scotland officers have already made visits to licensed premises to remind staff of their licensing conditions and to offer safety advice.  Officers on Sunday are fully aware of those premises where the game is being screened and patrols will be directed accordingly.

Other measures have been taken by Police Scotland to address local risks, such as

Known violent offenders in Dumfries and Galloway who may cause disorder on the day have been identified and visited.

Known domestic abuse offenders who may be considered likely to offend in response to the match result have been identified and visited, and we will ensure that victims of such abuse receive the support, protection and reassurance they deserve.

We have taken a proactive stance to work with publicans to remind them of their responsibilities and encourage good practice.

Licensed premises will be visited to assess the likelihood for trouble and to target trouble makers.
We will have an increased presence and visibility across the region to monitor and address the conduct of those travelling to and from the match.

We will be robustly policing the afternoon and night-time economy to tackle the potential for disorder associated with the match.

“We also need local supporters to understand the wider consequences of their actions if becoming involved in football-related disorder.  Offenders don’t necessarily need to attend the game to attract a Football Banning Order if convicted for a football related offence, and we will assess circumstances closely and purse all legal avenues to prevent future offending.

“The up-shot is that we want our local communities and football supporters to be able to enjoy the game safely and responsibly, but sadly it is often the small minority who spoil the occasion for others.  These are the people whose behaviour we will seek to address.”

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