POLICE have reported 18 arrests at an Orange Order parade in Glasgow for disorder offences. More than 4,000 people were estimated to have taken part in the walk through the centre of the city, with another 4,000 spectators.
The Orange parade taking place in Blantyre also yesterday, where 10,000 people were due to take part, saw around eight arrests for disorder.
Police had warned that any sectarian behaviour and drinking in public would not be tolerated.
“There was a very small minority who were present on the day who elected to take part in any minor criminality,” a Police Scotland spokeswoman said yesterday.
“There were no major incidents reported during the event.”
Several people on Twitter reported disruption in the city during the walk.
One Glasgow resident tweeted: “Orange March is chaos around my flat. Walk home see 3 casualties, 2 arrests and a man punch a seagull.”
Others complained about the disruption caused by road closures around the city, with several diversions in place.
Thousands of people had been expected at the Glasgow parade - one of the largest policing operations that officers in the city deal with each year.
Specially trained stewards accompanied the march in efforts to free up police officers to concentrate on street drinking and drunkenness, anti-social behaviour and sectarian behaviour.
Speaking ahead of the march, Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Andy Bates said: “Our priority is to make sure the parade is peacefully facilitated with the safety of those taking part, the general public and officers, being paramount.
“I recognise that it is not the people taking part in the parade who cause trouble but an unwelcome minority who turn up and use the event as an excuse to drink, cause offence and behave in a manner which cannot be tolerated in our communities.
“It is these people that my officers will focus on, targeting violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour.”
Police Scotland said they had worked with the Orange Order and Glasgow City Council to agree a route for the march and to try to minimise any disruption to the city centre.
Officers and stewards were stationed at various points to assist with traffic restrictions during the parade.
Eddy Hyde, of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, said: “We are working well together with Police Scotland to ensure that our parades run smoothly. The new training regime for stewards that we organise in partnership with the police, now means that we have over 2,500 of our own trained stewards for our events throughout Scotland.
“This has led to a real reduction on police resources without any adverse impact on safety or public order.”
During the summer parades, Mr Hyde called upon “every member of the Orange Order to enjoy the day with the utmost decorum”.
“Our parades are a celebration of our heritage, not an excuse for anyone to criticise anyone else’s faith or beliefs,” he said.
“I also have a message to the members of the public who are not members of the Order but choose to come along and support our parades: you are welcome, but please enjoy the music, colour and excitement of the march responsibly - alcohol on the streets is not permitted or wanted.”