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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

Buses to be spot checked this weekend as Rangers v Celtic

On Saturday, 14 April 2018 Motherwell and Aberdeen go head to head, and on Sunday, 15 April 2018 Celtic and Rangers meet, in the latter stages of the Scottish Cup at Scotland’s national stadium.

There is always significant interest in these extremely important fixtures. This weekend’s games will be no exception with more than 50,000 fans expected to make their way to Hampden Park each day. In addition, supporters from across the country will head to bars and pubs to watch the semi-final matches. The games are eagerly anticipated and passions can run high. However, fans can be assured that preparations for policing the match are well underway with public safety being Police Scotland’s primary concern. Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty, the officer with overall responsibility for the policing operation for both semi-finals, said, “The semi-finals build up is well underway with a significant amount of planning taking place to ensure those attending, and watching across the country and beyond, can enjoy the event safely. These are showcase matches of what is best in Scottish football and we want it to be an enjoyable family occasion for everyone watching at the stadium or elsewhere. “We have seen a trend for people bring flares or pyrotechnics to matches. These devices can be very dangerous and can endanger your own as well as other’s safety. It is important for those attending to remember that to enter the stadium with any of these devices such as flares or smoke bombs is illegal. If you are found to be in possession of any of these types of prohibited items, you will be arrested.” Licensing and domestic abuse are key elements of the wider policing operation. It is well known that alcohol leads to increased levels of violence and disorder and the many people having a drink whilst watching the match are urged to drink responsibly. Chief Superintendent McInulty continued, “All the teams taking part have committed and passionate supporters and the vast majority of those fans will want to enjoy the game in a safe environment. The atmosphere will be electric, emotions will be running high and the vast majority of supporters will be contributing towards an exciting and positive atmosphere. However, anyone who involves themselves in acts of sectarianism, disorder or violence will be dealt with robustly. “Although the kick off time for the second semi between Celtic and Rangers is slightly later than has been normal, this should not mean that those planning to attend should think they have more time to consume alcohol to excess. Put simply, if you are drunk and attempting to enter the stadium, you will not be permitted and you will miss the game. “Those who plan to come to the games, intent on causing trouble and ruining the day, need to know they won’t get away with it. Don’t think you’ve escaped because you’re not arrested on the day because retrospective investigations will be conducted and trouble makers will be identified and arrested. This is something we’ve done numerous times in the past with great success. “Fans need to remember the consequences can be far reaching. You could find yourself the subject of a football banning order, meaning you won’t get to attend any of the other games planned for this season. Let’s ensure this match is memorable for the right reasons.” A number of policing operations will be conducted throughout the day, including spot checks at various locations on buses and coaches travelling to the game. Specially trained dogs will be at the stadium to prevent people trying to smuggle in flares, fireworks or smoke bombs. There will be a large number of people travelling to the stadium and we want to make sure they get there safely and on time with the least disruption. This means roads and public transport will be busy, so please leave plenty of time for your journey so you get to the game on time. Important advice for supporters when visiting the city: Drinking alcohol on the streets or in a public place in Glasgow is an offence Drinking alcohol on public transport, including buses and trains is not permitted It is an offence to be in possession of alcohol or be drunk aboard a coach or mini-bus travelling to a sporting event. Officers will be conducting spot checks to enforce this. You cannot bring, or attempt to bring alcohol into the stadium – don’t miss a memorable match because you have drunk too much and don’t get in It is illegal to attempt to enter the stadium in possession of pyrotechnic devices, such as flares, smoke bombs, etc. Officers will be on hand to offer help, if required. We are here to ensure the safety and security of all supporters attending the game and minimise disruption to the local community. We are aware of the impact football games can have on local residents and we will have resources in place to minimise disruption. Information on travel advice for those attending can be found on our website


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