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Scum v Rangers 10th Sept - My letter and Chief Inspector reply


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I've just received my reply today relating to the match on 10th Sept.

I just thought I'd throw it in here and you can decide whether you want to read it or not...I'm getting a bit bored with it all myself to be honest. Anyway, here it is and pouring yourself a cuppa, or cracking open a beer (a can of the black nectar is recommended), is advisable before you start reading it as it's quite lengthy (and laughable too). I've had to cut and paste which included tables etc so it's not perfect, but you can read it fine.

My letter of complaint...

 

Dear sir/madam,

Before I state the reason for contacting you today, I think I should mention that I've been committing the same crime over and over during the last 50 years. My crime? Supporting Rangers Football Club. Having been born in Glasgow, both myself and many of my fellow fans truly feel like second class citizens in our own country. That used to be Scotland, perhaps that should now read Republic of Scotland.

We are dehumanised on a daily basis and neither Police Scotland, our government and the wee Jimmy Krankie lookalike from Hollyrood, or our football authorities do anything to stop it. You are all toothless tigers and you are all complicit of the same offence, while some have bigger agendas than others. The terrorist loving IRA supporters can do no wrong, sticking the proverbial two fingers up with impunity on a regular basis, while Rangers fans are subjected to ridicule from all quarters.

The 10h of September 2016, Celtic v Rangers and the vile supporters of this vile club manage to surpass themselves, which is quite a feat. Effigies depicting the executions of a Rangers supporter and a member of The Orange Order with their hands bound behind their back, hanging there for all to see, including TV cameras. What a disgusting thing to do by any human being and that disgust will be felt around the world by those who were unfortunate enough to view it (see attachments).

The scum perpetrators were able to take these into the ground, take ample time to prepare their stunt and hang them over the stand in full view of CCTV cameras within the ground under the banner 'This is it bhoys, This is war. All the while you turn a blind eye to it and this being National suicide awareness day as well. Absolutely pathetic.

Where were Police Scotland? Posted missing again as per Scottish Cup Semi-Final? Perhaps you were too busy filming Rangers fans again when the real crimes were going on all around you. Why did it take so long to react and has there been any arrests for this crime? All the relevant information can be easily gathered, so I expect arrests for this today. You take a lot of money from football clubs and you seem to do sod all to earn it. Yet more incompetence from Police Scotland.

I do realise that you may be somewhat limited in the information you can furnish me with, but you can certainly supply me with your assessment of what took place and how Police Scotland is meant to deal with these situations.

Also, I'd like to know if it would be okay should Rangers fans do something similar when the terrorist loving IRA sympathisers visit Ibrox. They had a banner saying H** scum. What if we did likewise only replacing the offensive word H** for fenian, so it would read fenian scum. Surely that would be acceptable as that is in fact the word they use to describe themselves?

We wouldn't stoop so low as to have two effigies hanging from one of our stands of course. That really is as disgusting as it gets. I'm still stunned as to how this was allowed to happen, but can you tell me how long it would take to attract attention from you if it were a priest and the pope hanging from a stand? Would that be acceptable? If not, then why weren't the offending items removed immediately as any sane and decent human being would wish?

Also, why was no action taken when the Rangers manager was constantly being called “a sad orange bastard”? What do you guys do apart from film Rangers fans?

Lastly, why are there no arrests when there's an IRA karaoke at EVERY Celtic away game yet Rangers supporters can get arrested for a ten second burst of The Billy Boys (even though other clubs have their own version of this and they sing it with no threat of being arrested)?

Thanking you in anticipation, I look forward to receiving your reply.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

...and the Chief Inspector of Police Scotland's reply

Greater Glasgow Division

Glasgow City Centre Police Office

50 Stewart Street

Glasgow

G4 0HY

Tel No: 101

 

Dear Mr

COMPLAINT ABOUT THE POLICE – POLICING OF CELTIC v RANGERS FIXTURE

I refer to your e-mail of 12 September 2016 regarding the policing of the recent football match between Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers football clubs, which took place on Saturday, 10 September 2016, at Celtic Park.

As the Senior Officer with responsibility for investigating Complaints about the Police within Greater Glasgow Division, your complaint has been passed to my department in order that I may respond to you.

Your complaint has been assessed as a Quality of Service Complaint, in that the complaint essentially relates to how Police Scotland deployed officers and handled the policing of the event and some of the issues which arose during the event. As you may well be aware, there is now a criminal investigation being conducted by Police Scotland. The investigation is focusing on identifying those individuals who committed criminal acts during the match and ensuring that they are brought to justice as quickly as possible.

Before I address this particular match, please allow me to explain the roles and responsibilities of the various organisations involved in the preparation, planning, crowd management and safety issues connected with major sporting events.

 

THE ROLE OF THE CLUB

Ensuring the safety of supporters is a key objective of all football clubs and it is ultimately their desire that all supporters, regardless of which team they support, conduct themselves appropriately and do not represent a risk to themselves or any other person attending the match.

Each club or venue has an appointed Safety Officer who has overall responsibility for the safety and security operation during football fixtures. It is the role of the Safety Officer to manage the event and ensure the safety of all those attending.

 

THE ROLE OF STEWARDS

Along with the Safety Officer, each club or venue employs Stewards who are also responsible for ensuring that the safety of the crowd is not compromised by the behaviour of others. Stewards also enforce the ground regulations and ticket conditions before, during and after the match.

The ticket conditions allow Stewards and Police Officers to search any person entering the stadium and the football club has the right to refuse entry to anyone attending a fixture who does not comply with these conditions and rules. The content of the ticket conditions can be found on the rear of all printed tickets and the ground regulations can also be located on the club’s website.

 

THE ROLE OF POLICE SCOTLAND

The primary objective of the Police at football fixtures is to support the club officials and Stewards and thereby minimise any risk to public safety and public order. Generally, this support will extend to assisting Stewards with crowd control and supporting Stewards who are dealing with unruly or non-compliant supporters. The ultimate role of the Police is to be present and in a position to take over should some unforeseen event or emergency necessitate the need for it.

It is also the duty of all Police Officers to prevent and detect crime, and Police Officers are expected to intervene and arrest persons when it is both practicable and safe to do so. Many incidents are better dealt with at a later, more appropriate time. This is a decision for the Match Commander, who is an experienced Senior Police Officer.

The final role for Police Scotland is to ensure that following any emergency or incident an investigation is undertaken and, where appropriate, to ensure that those responsible for breaches of the law are identified and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

 

LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Many of the arrests and detentions made at football matches relate to drunken and offensive behaviour and generally are dealt with by use of our Common Law powers of Breach of the Peace and Section 38 of the Criminal Justice Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

Additional legislation can be used if a Breach of the Peace is not considered appropriate, namely The Offensive Behaviour at Football & Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. This Act relates to conduct at regulated football matches, where a person engages in a particular course of behaviour which is or would be likely to incite public disorder.

As you are aware, sectarian motivated conduct, whether it is singing, chanting, displaying banners or other such objects, is offensive and should not be tolerated in our society and this legislation is designed to deter this type of behaviour. The law, however, cannot be prescriptive in detailing exactly what would be defined as offensive and although guidance is available, it is ultimately for the courts to determine.

Football governing bodies, such as the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and Union of European Football Association (UEFA), are all able to inspect and report on any club who violate their respective statutes, regulations and decisions via the use of banners/flags etc.

Both the football club and individuals can in fact be dealt with through both our judicial system and football organisations’ systems simultaneously and, where necessary, Police Scotland will cooperate with investigations.

There have been a number of incidents where the conduct of several fans has been called into question on the day of an event. These are generally highlighted in social media, television and the press. Where appropriate, through the process of football governance, these issues will all come under scrutiny by the various bodies involved in the game and, where applicable, procedures and plans will continue to be altered to try and prevent similar future occurrences.

Having provided some background to the policing and stewarding of football matches in general, I will now go on to consider the elements which were specific to this particular match.

 

CELTIC v RANGERS FIXTURE

The match took place at 1200 hours, on Saturday, 10 September 2016, within Celtic Park, Glasgow. The match was attended by a sell-out crowd of approximately 60,000 supporters and was televised live.

During the match, a collection of banners were displayed within the crowd and two items, which appeared to be inflatable figures, were displayed hanging from a stand. A considerable degree of damage was caused to toilet facilities within one stand and there were also allegations of sectarian and offensive singing and chanting by both sets of supporters.

The primary concern of both the football club and the Police during any event of this nature is the safety and security of the public who are attending the event. The policing strategy seeks to maximise public safety and minimise disorder, whilst providing an effective, proportionate and professional Police response to the event.

On the day in question, the incidents which have been the subject of complaints and subsequent scrutiny were recognised as potentially offensive or criminal acts and were brought to the attention of the Match Commander.

The display of banners and other objects in the crowd called upon the Match Commander to make a decision as to whether entering the crowd and removing them was necessary and proportionate or likely to cause a negative response, which could potentially have led to a more confrontational and disorderly situation.

Equally, where singing or chanting is concerned, the appropriateness of taking action at the time is considered and a judgement made based on the prevailing circumstances. Clearly, when many hundreds of supporters engage in a particular chant the ability of the Police resources present at the time to influence or prevent this is very limited.

Any decision to take action at such an event must be carefully considered. In some circumstances, it may be unsafe or otherwise inappropriate to make an arrest at the time of an offence. Officers must be aware that any action taken may cause a negative reaction and, in some circumstances, could destabilise the crowd. Where practical, an assessment will be made by the Match Commander as to the appropriateness of taking action at that time.

This form of considered, measured response to a particular situation can inevitably appear to onlookers that the Police and Stewards are standing by and condoning or ignoring the conduct which may be causing offence. In fact, a number of factors are being considered by the Match Commander and the club’s Safety Officer.

An assessment must be made as to whether any intervention is justifiable and necessary. The actions of the Police in such circumstances must always be proportionate to the actual crime or offence being committed. Any force used or likely to be required to successfully intervene in such a situation must be justifiable. Officers, including senior officers, must be able to fully justify their actions. The most common approach is to gather evidence as to the identity of the offenders and take action later.

The damage which was caused to the toilet facilities was caused in an area of the ground which, naturally, was not covered by club CCTV. This matter is, however, the subject of a live criminal enquiry at present and any further specific comment would be inappropriate at this time.

Whilst I appreciate that you may have been offended by the banners, inflatables, singing, chanting or other such behaviour, it was for the Match Commander, in consultation with the Safety Manager, to decide whether any intervention could have potentially caused greater harm than that of causing offence to other members of the crowd or the wider public.

When viewed within the framework of the Strategic Intentions for policing the event, as well as the pre-planned arrest policy for such events, I find that I agree with the decisions made and the actions taken on the day. For that reason, and in the context of the information detailed above, I do not uphold your complaint.

I am sure it will be of interest to you that a CID led enquiry is already underway with regard to instances of criminal conduct which took place at Celtic Park on 10 September 2016, with several arrests being made already for one of the more high profile incidents.

I can assure you that Police Scotland is committed to ensuring that such major events continue to take place safely, securely and with the minimum disruption to the community in general. We take a robust view of hate crime, wherever it occurs, and I can assure you that those matters which you have raised in your complaint were not ignored and remain the subject of a focused criminal enquiry. Police Scotland will not tolerate the kind of conduct displayed by certain elements from both sets of fans and, in moving forward, will seek to learn from this incident to further improve public safety at large events.

Mr, I appreciate that it was your perception that the Police took no action to deal with what you rightly considered to be offensive behaviour by a section of the crowd on 10 September 2016. I can assure you that this was not the case, that the matter was taken very seriously by Police Scotland and is still the subject of ongoing criminal enquiries.

I would hope that the explanations I have provided will have given you some insight into the reasons for what you perceived to be Police inaction and an understanding of the policing approach during such events. I would also hope that I have provided you with a better understanding as to why the specific incident you have complained about was dealt with in the way it was.

If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled, you may contact the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), 2nd Floor, Hamilton House, Caird Park, Hamilton, ML3 0QA. If you decide to contact PIRC, you must submit an application form to them within three months of the date of this letter; otherwise they may not be able to deal with your complaint.

 

Yours sincerely


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Chief Inspector


 

 

 

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tl;dr: they say the reason nothing was done during the match was in the interest of safety and they are looking for those responsible. 

if it were one of us like OP said hanging an effigy from the main/govan stand it'd have been dealt with there and then. one set of rules for them and another for us.

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A letter which says that Police Scotland are about as much use as a hand bag in a gun battle when it comes to policing  football matches and also that the more fans who sing an offensive song the more chance of them taking no action. That statement gives you no confidence whatsoever that you'd feel safe under their stewardship, and I certainly saw that with my own eyes at the cup final, pathetic how limp they are and while we think they should be policing they are actually "gathering evidence".

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19 minutes ago, Big Al II said:

"Republic of Scotland" and "Jimmy Krankie lookalike" references just makes you sound like a tit. There's a time and place for that language IMO.

I'm actually surprised your otherwise well written complaint got any response whatsoever.

 

Even worse, spelling Holyrood wrong.

Emailing the polis is taig like behaviour

Faux offence pish.

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35 minutes ago, Big Al II said:

"Republic of Scotland" and "Jimmy Krankie lookalike" references just makes you sound like a tit. There's a time and place for that language IMO.

I'm actually surprised your otherwise well written complaint got any response whatsoever.

 

This.

Undermines his whole argument by using such petty comments IMO.

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Okay, some of you guys may have a point about some of the phrases used, but I was livid at the time with all that was going on. Nice to see there is a lot of perfect people out there who've never made a mistake in their life. I bow down before you. And all this shit about we don't do that. No, we just sit back and take whatever is thrown at us. No wonder some clowns think we're fair game.  At least I did something rather than our usual stance of dignified silence. 

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2 hours ago, ForeverAndEver said:

Even worse, spelling Holyrood wrong.

Emailing the polis is taig like behaviour

Faux offence pish.

It is taig like behaviour, BUT, if we want the attitude towards our fans to change and for there to be a certain degree of fairness, we have to start moaning like fuck. 

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9 minutes ago, Davie Mr Magic Cooper said:

Okay, some of you guys may have a point about some of the phrases used, but I was livid at the time with all that was going on. Nice to see there is a lot of perfect people out there who've never made a mistake in their life. I bow down before you. And all this shit about we don't do that. No, we just sit back and take whatever is thrown at us. No wonder some clowns think we're fair game.  At least I did something rather than our usual stance of dignified silence. 

You posted it on the forum, folk tell you their thoughts and now you're all precious.

Grow up.

 

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15 minutes ago, Davie Mr Magic Cooper said:

Okay, some of you guys may have a point about some of the phrases used, but I was livid at the time with all that was going on. Nice to see there is a lot of perfect people out there who've never made a mistake in their life. I bow down before you. And all this shit about we don't do that. No, we just sit back and take whatever is thrown at us. No wonder some clowns think we're fair game.  At least I did something rather than our usual stance of dignified silence. 

Fucking clowns. All over the news, the papers and now RM.

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16 minutes ago, Davie Mr Magic Cooper said:

Okay, some of you guys may have a point about some of the phrases used, but I was livid at the time with all that was going on. Nice to see there is a lot of perfect people out there who've never made a mistake in their life. I bow down before you. And all this shit about we don't do that. No, we just sit back and take whatever is thrown at us. No wonder some clowns think we're fair game.  At least I did something rather than our usual stance of dignified silence. 

An embarrassing post. What did you expect to achieve, other than show yourself up as a complete knob. The quicker you and the other growing band of mock offended taig copying wallopers catch on the better for everyone. As someone above states, with the language and tone used, you were lucky to get a response - I would have filed it under "crap". FFS grow a pair and support your team!

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