Tight security at Hampden as 50,000 fans flood south side
Armed police and body searches are among security measures fans at today's Scottish Cup Final clash at Hampden could experience.
Up to 50,000 football supporters are currently heading to the Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC game, which is taking place in the context of the present “critical” level UK security threat.
Police have stressed there’s no specific threat to the game or indeed Scotland, but have brought in extra measures in line with making public safety the priority.
Police Scotland has asked supporters not to be alarmed at the enhanced police operation and to focus on enjoying the festival atmosphere at Hampden.
However beefed up security measures at the stadium mean “slight” delays can be expected to allow for bag and people searches.
Supporters are asked to take on board the following advice:
Spectators are encouraged not to bring bags to the stadium.
Those carrying bags should expect to be searched at the outer cordons at Prospecthill Road, Mount Annan Drive, Somerville Drive and Letherby Drive.
There will also be additional bag searches at the turnstiles.
Musical instruments will be not be permitted into the stadium.
Supporters should plan to get to Hampden Park stadium in plenty of time.
The stadium will be open earlier to accommodate the additional people and bag searches, with entry available from 1pm.
Supporters are asked to show consideration for the general public, given the atrocity in Manchester.
They shouln’t demonstrate any behaviour – like congregating in large numbers in crowded places such as major transport hubs – which could frighten people into thinking something untoward has happened.
Police also advise: “Don’t attempt to bring in flares or other pyrotechnic devices, It is an offence to do so and you will be removed from the stadium and arrested.
“Drink responsibly. You will be turned away from the stadium if you are drunk.”
Superintendent Mark Hargreaves, Match Commander for the event, said: “We have reviewed the security plans for the Cup Final along with our partners at the Scottish Football Association and it will be appropriately resourced to ensure people attend and leave the event safely.
“The enhanced security operation at the stadium may include body and bag searches, which could potentially delay entry for a short time and so I would urge people to plan their travel and get to the Scottish Cup Final in plenty of time.
“Whilst I understand that some people may be inconvenienced by the increased security, public safety is our priority and I am sure everyone in Scotland will co-operate with us and support this.
“There is no specific threat against Scotland, or the Scottish Cup Final, however, people should remain calm but vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.
“This is a great event that finishes off the Scottish football calendar, let’s make it an enjoyable experience for all those attending and watching at home.”
Inspector Brian McAleese from British Transport Police, said: “Since the devastating events in Manchester and subsequent increase in the national threat level, passengers can also expect to see an enhanced security operation. “Extra officers from BTP will be on duty on Saturday, both on trains as well as at train stations.
“We are there to help and protect travelling spectators and we hope our officers can offer some reassurance.
“In addition to the work to counter the terrorism threat, we will also be adopting a zero tolerance policy regarding anti-social behaviour.
“Please be mindful of other passengers using train services and keep noise to a minimum.
“Alcohol bans will be in place on train services and we would encourage anyone to report concerns to BTP by sending a text to 61016.”