Scotland

Football fans asked for views on match-day policing

police and football fans Image copyright SNS

Police Scotland has launched its first survey on how football supporters and the public feel about match-day policing.

The move follows a recommendation made in the Independent Review of Football Policing in Scotland report.

It identified serious concerns around stadium safety which put fans at risk.

Findings included incidents of clubs gaining safety certificates without stadium inspections and selling more tickets than the ground capacity.

The report, which was commissioned by Police Scotland following a crush outside Celtic Park last year, also highlighted a need for better stewarding and better engagement with fans.

The review findings were revealed weeks after a match between Kilmarnock and Rangers where fans invaded the pitch and jumped onto a roof that partially collapsed.

Supporters also reported crushing outside ahead of kick-off.

Image copyright SNS Group
Image caption A roof over a disabled fans' section at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park was crushed during a game against Rangers

Ch Insp Campbell Crawford, head of Police Scotland's national football unit, said getting views directly from supporters was "extremely important and a real step forward for us".

He added: "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.

"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 have an effect on them too."

Ch Insp Crawford said all feedback would be analysed and "contribute directly to our new engagement strategy".

He said: 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."