FANS have been warned they will be arrested and face a ban from football if they attempt to take fireworks or flares into this evening’s Edinburgh derby.
Supporters of both Hibs and Hearts have been told to expect a search cordon around Easter Road ahead of the 7pm kick-off and a specialist dog trained to sniff out flares will also to be used by Police Scotland.
Following incidents at previous matches between the rivals, police believe it is ‘only a matter of time’ before a serious injury results from the use of pyrotechnics inside grounds. Superintendent Kenny MacDonald said: “There will be search cordons in place around the stadium and searches will be undertaken as a condition of entry to the ground. A specialist search dog will be used to detect anyone in possession of fireworks or flares.
“We recognise that the majority of supporters are well behaved. However, there are a small minority who, in the past, have put themselves and others in danger by throwing fireworks or flares.
“If this behaviour continues then it will only be a matter of time before someone suffers a serious injury and we are working with clubs and stewards to do all we can to prevent such dangerous behaviour.
“Anyone who is caught with a flare or firework can expect to be arrested, either at the time, or as a result of a post-match investigation. As well as receiving a criminal conviction, they may very well find themselves being banned from attending future matches throughout the country.”