Celtic v Rangers: Domestic abuse in 35% drop

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates praised the vast majority of fans for their 'excellent behaviour'. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Chief Superintendent Andy Bates praised the vast majority of fans for their 'excellent behaviour'. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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THE number of domestic abuse incidents dealt with by police fell by 35 per cent on Sunday following warnings issued ahead of the Old Firm game.

Police Scotland said it recorded 139 incidents across Scotland on Sunday, well below the average of 213 seen on Sundays between May and January.

Police officers delivered personal warnings to known domestic abusers ahead of the match.

Analysis by Strathclyde Police in 2011 found that the number of domestic abuse incidents increased by up to 139 per cent when the two clubs met.

And research by the Scottish Government shows domestic abuse incidents can increase by a third on weekends during which Old Firm matches are held.

Police said they had made 37 arrests at Sunday’s match, including 12 for sectarian breaches of the peace.

Twenty-three of those arrested were expected to have appeared in court today, with a further 11 reported to the procurator fiscal and three given fixed penalty notices.

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Yesterday’s League Cup match was the first time Celtic and Rangers had met in three years.

High numbers of police were deployed on Glasgow’s streets in anticipation of trouble, but the match commander said the behaviour of most fans had been “excellent”.

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates said: “As usual, the vast majority of the 50,000 fans were here to enjoy the game and support their respective team. They deserve credit for their excellent behaviour. However, again, it is the minority of fans who spoiled the occasion by for example setting off flares and singing sectarian songs.

“We dealt with any incidents swiftly and with minimum disruption.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service said it had not dealt with any serious incidents in and around Hampden. After the match police segregated fans as they made their way home.

Sunday’s match had an international television audience in 54 countries from the US, Australia, Europe and Asia.

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) said it had a potential audience of 129 million outside of the UK, with broadcasters in the US, Australia, Europe and Asia screening it.

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