Police Scotland launches nationwide survey of football policing

Police Scotland is set to undertake a nationwide survey on how the force engages with Scottish football supporters and the wider public about how matches and incidents are managed.

Police monitoring fans. Picture: SNS
Police monitoring fans. Picture: SNS

The move to seek views from across the country comes following a recommendation in the national force's own 'Independent Review of Football Policing in Scotland' report, which was commissioned last year.

A key finding of the review was that issues around stadium safety, which it identified as a risk to fans, as well as the need for better engagement with fans and other stakeholders.

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It was commissioned following a crush at Celtic Park ahead of a 2018 Old Firm match against Rangers which saw five people injured.

Chief Inspector Campbell Crawford, head of Police Scotland’s football unit, said: “Getting views directly from supporters is extremely important and a real step forward for us. We are keen that people understand that our role at football is to support the event organiser, as well as understanding what people expect from us.

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“We are transforming the way we communicate with Scotland’s football supporters and we now need as many of them as possible to take part in the survey.

“We also want to make sure that the communities who host football matches are involved. We know policing operations has an effect on them too.”

He added: “All the feedback we receive will be analysed and will contribute directly to our new engagement strategy. This will ensure football supporters and communities are involved in the way we police football in future.”

“We want everyone who goes to a football match anywhere in Scotland to enjoy it in a safe and secure environment. We believe that by building on the work already done to develop effective working relationships with football supporters and our communities, we can contribute to ensuring a positive experience for supporters attending matches as well as those who live and work in areas which host football matches.

“I would encourage anyone who has an interest in football policing to complete the survey. We would appreciate your help.”