Police warning ahead of Old Firm Hogmanay fixture

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As the city gears up for a weekend of celebrations, the chief officer for Police Scotland’s Greater Glasgow division has urged people to “plan before partying”.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Glasgow on Saturday, December 31 for a day of shopping, football or Hogmanay celebrations and police are advising the public to be responsible and plan any outings in advance.

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty said: “This is no doubt an exciting weekend for many people, whether it’s to enjoy a day of shopping at the sales, attending a football match or gearing up to celebrate the New Year.

“It does mean that the city will be busier throughout the day and night. Together with our partners, we have robust policing plans in place to account for this with public safety being our priority.”

Specific operations are in place for the Rangers/Celtic match at Ibrox Stadium, together with two other football matches taking place in the West of Scotland.

He added: “Given the time of year, it would be expected that alcohol will play a part in some of the activities but I would urge people to drink responsibly, plan your outing in advance and ensure you stay with friends and family who know where you are. Expect to see more officers in and around stadiums, shopping centres, on approaches to Glasgow and in the city centre itself.

“Much has been said about the Rangers v Celtic match taking place but I envisage that the majority of supporters will come and enjoy the game and leave safely. However, that small minority determined to cause disorder, anti-social or offensive behaviour will be met with the full force of the law.

“Officers will actively tackle those who put the safety of others at risk. Our policing approach is about early intervention, prevention and engagement and people should expect to see more officers proactively targeting the small amount of people intent on drinking to excess or behaving badly.

“I completely understand that people want to have a good time and for some, that means drinking alcohol. However the safety of people visiting the stadium or just the city of Glasgow itself, is our priority and I would urge people not to drink when coming to the stadium, as you’ll not get in. Drink responsibly if out later at night and keep yourself and your belongings safe. Know how you’re getting home and plan it ahead.

“We want to keep people safe whilst they enjoy football, parties and celebrations as part of our Festive Safety campaign. Have a great weekend and a happy New Year.”

Officers are warning football fans to comply with all safety and security arrangements relating to Ibrox Stadium as they say it is an offence to:

Use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or to display written material likely to stir up hate crimes.

Enter the sports ground if you are in possession of any pyrotechnic device including flares, fireworks, pellets etc (matches/cigarette lighters are not included).

Attempt to enter the sports ground with a controlled container (any bottle, can or other portable container whether open or sealed) or alcohol either prior to, during or after the game. This is also the case inside the arena or in the surrounding area.

Be drunk within or to attempt to enter a sports stadium or surrounding area whilst drunk.

Be in possession of alcohol or be drunk aboard a coach or mini-bus taking you to a sporting event. The driver, keeper, employee or person hiring the vehicle on which alcohol is being carried also commits an offence. Please not that police checks will be carried out on buses and mini buses travelling to the game.

Drink alcohol or be in possession of an open container which contains alcohol in a public place.

Please be aware that if you commit any of these offences you will be arrested and held in custody for court which may involve missing your journey home. Why risk it?

Please ensure that your match ticket is for seating allocated to the relevant side as you may be removed if you are in the wrong seat.