Thursday, March 3, 2011

Police call for a ban on Old Firm clashes, talk sense, bring start times forward to 10.00am, and arrest players inciting violence on field

Dear All

Old firm matches create a lot of problems, violence and drinking.

This has upset the Police; they wanted the matches between Rangers and Celtic banned.

Their reasoning is to cut down on violent attacks and reduce the cost to the public purse of criminal investigations.

Les Gray, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation says the only effective way to prevent the violence would be for the Glasgow derby not to go ahead.

It would be better if Les Gray stopped trying to fly a kite that wouldn’t gain any support.

Be daft on your own time Les Gray and stop talking out your rear end.

A better solution to the problem would be to have old firm games played in the mornings at say 10.00 am kick off.

About 1000 officers are deployed on an Old Firm match day on the ground, on horseback and in the air.

The real problem is that following last week’s clash every cell in Glasgow was full and people had to be carted outside Glasgow to be locked up.

Mr Gray said:

“How do you prevent this violence after the Old Firm? The only effective way to prevent it is to ban matches. They are just not worth the murder and mayhem that accompanies them. Every time we think we’ve got to grips with this issue, it just flares up again as it did on Sunday”.

Very early starts!

Gray added:

“If the players are on the park squaring up to each other and being aggressive, I cringe. I know this violence will be replicated later on Scotland’s streets, but then it will be done with bottles and knives. Realistically it will probably never happen but something has got to give.”

Then let’s start charging players with incitement to violence.

After the first player is arrested that will see a decrease in that little show.

Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Corrigan said he blamed excessive drinking for the surge in violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour.

Now, I know why Corrigan is paid the big bucks!

230 arrests were made during last week’s match.

Old Firm matches also flag up on a regular basis that there is a sharp rise in cases of domestic abuse.

157 incidents were reported compared with an average of 87 for a Sunday.

Mr Gray said yesterday:

“We cannot put a police officer in every house and public house after every game. It begs the question, is it worth it? We cannot keep on the way it is going. For a while it quietened down but now it is going back to the bad old days.”

Then it is time for the ‘big stick’ approach.

But everyone from players to supporters should be part of the re-education programme.

Quite simple, a player starts a fight on the pitch; he gets lifted by the Police on the pitch itself, no red card. Then, court case, found guilty, Barlinnie Prison, next door to Scotland's Nelson Mandela, Tommy Sheridan.

People can respond to simple choices like this.

On violence Gray added:

He said:

“A straightforward murder investigation can cost the taxpayer £1 million, while a serious assault can cost £250,000. The cost to the police and the taxpayer is astronomical. In these harsh financial times, we can’t afford to allow this any longer.”

Maybe Gray should be calling for the legalisation of drugs to open up a financial revenue stream.

His ideas are non starters but mine’s definitely have merit.

Start games at 10.00 am.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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