ANGUS football fans have been given a stern warning by police after a derby match descended into violence with flares being thrown and mass brawls in the streets.
Arbroath and Montrose football clubs have issued the joint warning with Police Scotland after the scenes of disorder in and around Gayfield Park, Arbroath, on Saturday. Police have confirmed there were at least five instances of pyrotechnics being used - two were arrested within the ground for possession of pyrotechnics while three youths were arrested for their part in disorder after the Scottish League Two game.
Fans have been told they will be arrested and banned from attending all future football games if they are found with flares.
Police Scotland chief superintendent Eddie Smith said: “Pyrotechnics of any kind at football matches are extremely dangerous and can cause significant life-changing injuries for those carrying them. These items have serious public safety implications and anyone found in possession of them should be in no doubt, where an offence is committed, they will be arrested and they will have a criminal record.
“It is extremely concerning to find that at the recent match at Gayfield Park there were five instances within the ground where pyrotechnics were used.
“Those that bring these items to football matches put the safety of themselves and others at risk.
“After the game, officers had to be deployed to deal with significant clashes between opposing fans in the centre of Arbroath. Three youths were arrested for their part in the disorder. Be in no doubt that my officers will identify others who were involved in this conduct.”
John Christison, chairman of Arbroath Football Club, revealed the club will be “taking decisive action” against those that were involved in the use of pyrotechnics at the match and the disorder that followed.
Meanwhile Derek Sim, chairman of Montrose Football Club, said: “We are very disappointed a number of supporters decided to not only bring these to the game but also became involved in confronting opposition supporters in the streets following the match. This behaviour is totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.”