Police '˜aware of significance' of next Old Firm game

Police say they are 'well aware of the significance' of the latest Old Firm match this weekend where Celtic can clinch the Scottish Premiership title.

The Celtic Park side meet Rangers at the venue on Sunday and are looking to win a seventh successive league title.

Recent matches, including a Scottish Cup semi final two weeks ago, have passed without major incident but Police Scotland have issued a warning over behaviour, particularly around pyrotechnics.

Superintendent John McBride, match commander for the game, said: “These devices are extremely dangerous and endanger the safety of those around you as well as your own safety. Be aware that it is illegal to possess these devices without a lawful authority and it’s illegal to enter the stadium with them.

Police at Celtic Park. Picture: John Devlin

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“We will take action, you will be arrested and specially trained dogs will be at the stadium to prevent people trying to smuggle them in.

“Anyone who becomes involved in disorder, sectarianism or acts of violence will be dealt with in the same way.

“It is well-documented that drinking to excess leads to increased levels of violence and disorder. So, I am urging supporters to behave responsibly and be cognisant that if you’re drunk you won’t be allowed entry and you’ll miss the match.

Police at Celtic Park. Picture: John Devlin

“In the past we have conducted successful retrospective investigations. So if you’re not arrested on the day for your anti-social or disorderly behaviour don’t think you have escaped action. You could well have a football banning order imposed, preventing you attending football matches.”

Mr McBride added: “We are well aware of the significance of this match and there will be 60,000 supporters travelling from all over the country and beyond to Celtic Park.

“Our officers are extremely experienced in policing these games and facilitating the transit of thousands of supporters.

“We are working closely with a wide range of partners, including British Transport Police, to ensure everyone can get to the match and home again safely and without disruption.

“My message to Celtic and Rangers supporters is to make this match memorable for the football on the pitch.”