Warning to would-be troublemakers ahead of a busy weekend of football

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Football fans travelling to one of the many matches across Scotland this weekend are being reminded that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

This warning comes after numerous incidents recorded on trains last weekend following the Celtic v Sunderland match at the Stadium of Light.

The incidents occurred on numerous trains before and after the match, between railway stations in north east England and Scotland, notably Edinburgh and Glasgow. Offences included consumption of illegal drugs, sectarian songs being chanted, anti-social behaviour and intimidation of other passengers.

Two arrests were made at Edinburgh Waverly for offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Scotland Act 2012.

Two arrests were also made at Glasgow Central in relation to a report of sectarian singing from fans returning from this match.

Enquiries are on-going relating all four arrests.

This weekend BTP officers will be highly-visible at the main hub stations and officers will be carrying out substantially more on-train patrols to make sure everyone attending the matches can get there safely, securely and on time – and home again.

Where incidents occur, officers will take firm action against trouble makers and will apply for a football banning order to be imposed by the courts if appropriate.

Inspector Gary Brown from British Transport Police, said: “Anti-social and abusive behaviour such as this is disgraceful and will not be tolerated. The majority of fans who travelled to last weekends match did so peacefully; however a small few pushed their luck. Four individuals were arrested and are now being processed through the criminal justice system.

“As a result of this behaviour last weekend, we have reviewed our policing approach to the matches over this weekend. Our officers will be highly visible at key stations and will be travelling with spectators as they make their way to and from the games. We are there to make sure no one is acting in an anti-social or abusive way. It is not fair that other passengers have to put up with and experience this behaviour.

“Our message this weekend is clear: behave and think of your fellow passengers. Where trouble occurs, we want people to get in touch with us. Rail users can alert us by sending a text discreetly to 61016.”