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Club statement please on police activity in W7

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10 minutes ago, ged62 said:


Why should they? It should be the individual saying sorry & being dealt with.

Aye, you're correct.

I am sure he/she will be along shortly to say very very sorry.

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Herald Report

Police Scotland accused of trying to turn young football fans into paid informants

 

POLICE Scotland has been accused of trying to build an “informant ring” of football fans to provide intelligence on fellow supporters.

The force is alleged to have discussed offering financial rewards in exchange for information on the movement of fans on match days.

Fans Against Criminalisation, a group set up to defend the rights of supporters, said they had emailed Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone about the claims on Friday.

A force spokesperson said: "We don't comment on operational matters. If any individual has any concerns we encourage them to contact Police Scotland."

Relations between the police and football fans have been strained in recent years following the passage in 2012 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.

New offences were created by the anti-sectarianism legislation, which covered fans who were travelling to and from matches and included individuals who watched a game in the pub.

The Government argued that the provisions were necessary to deal with disorder, but campaigners believed the Act scapegoated fans and made them a target for the police. Cross-party opposition to the legislation led to it being repealed this year.

A new row has broken out over claims that police officers have been attempting to assemble a network of intelligence sources amongst fans.

Three young men agreed to speak to the Herald on Sunday about their experiences, on condition that their anonymity was protected.

John – not his real name – said that two police officers tried to reach him at his parents’ house in Motherwell in the last week of August, even though he does not live there.

The Motherwell fan said the officers told his parents that the force wanted his help to build “better policing links”, after which he agreed to meet them on the same day.

“They told me they were trying to improve policing links. They said they would like to bring supporters and the police closer together in a positive manner,” he said.

He continued: “They wanted someone as a liaison contact who could call them in advance and say ‘there are only 10 fans travelling this week’ and they then wouldn’t have to deploy as many police officers.”

John said the officers were concerned about a younger group of Motherwell fans and “potential violence”.

He said: “They thought me being an older and more sensible head, I might have some information on this group, about how they may be travelling, what method of transport, and what time they were leaving.”

John, who refused the offer, added: “They said ‘if there was any potential information that you could provide us with, we could reward you in the way of money’.

“I was completely perplexed with the whole scenario. I found it very strange. I thought ‘is this the way people who are there to protect and serve should be treating members of the public?'”

St Mirren fan, who we are referring to as “Peter”, said the police came to his door on August 24. Peter said he had helped organise a supporters’ march through Paisley after the Buddies won the league this year.

He said: “Once they were in [the house] they were talking about St Mirren and organised violence at football matches. I was like ‘this is not what we are about. We are not there to cause problems’.”

He continued: “They said that they knew I am a season ticket holder. I said it was quite strange that they knew that.

“They were wanting to know if there was going to be any organised fights, or if there was going to be groups of people travelling to certain places...If I knew that information, could I share it?”

Peter said the officers were “very pally” and flattered him: “They were trying to say ‘people look up to you, people treat you like a role model, if you were to say things to people they would listen, people would tell you information’.”

Asked if he believed the officers were trying to get him to become an intelligence source, he said: “Yes.”

Peter added: “As a taxpayer, I find it ridiculous. Even after the OBFA [the repealed Act], fans are still treated as criminals. It seems like they are trying to get an informant ring on the go for football fans.

“It’s ridiculous that this amount of time, money and effort has been spent on trying to get football fans to snitch on other football fans for things that aren’t illegal, like how many people are travelling to a game.”

After being contacted by the police, Peter approached St Mirren about any dealings the club had had with the force in relation to him.

The club responded to him by email: “We have an information sharing protocol in place with Police Scotland, however I can confirm that no personal information was shared with them. We were merely asked to confirm if you were a current season ticket holder.”

The third example concerns a Celtic fan from Glasgow, James, who was charged under the Football Act in 2016 and whose case is coming to trial.

While sitting in the cells in a Glasgow police station after his arrest, he said two plain clothed officers walked in and led him to another room: “They said they were there to help with my case. All they wanted in return was for me to help them by giving them information when they asked for it.”

He said the officers wanted information on issues relating to football and on “Republican stuff”.

James said: “They said I would never need to go to a police station to meet them or anything like that, they would never come to the house. They said I could just meet them at a Costa [coffee shop], nobody would need to know.”

 

He added that the officers, who he described as not “normal police”, provided him with a mobile phone number, which they asked him to put in his sock.

The Celtic fan said nothing happened after the conversation, but said he knew of others who had been approached in a similar way. His lawyer, Paul Kavanagh, said his client alerted him to the incident at the time and gave him the mobile number.

A spokesperson for Fans Against Criminalisation said: “We are extremely alarmed to hear about officers approaching young people in this manner. Amid all the criticism of Police Scotland, to hear of claims that they are now trying to turn football fans into informants is a new low."

Labour MSP James Kelly said: "This is a deeply troubling situation. Despite the repeal of the maligned and redundant Football Act months ago, many fans are reporting that policing on match days is still unnecessarily heavy handed. The fact that three fans suggest they were asked to spy on others would confirm those suspicions.

"Football fans are second class citizens to the SNP Government, and that is why Labour has called for an independent review of the way football policing is carried out.”

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16 minutes ago, jkd said:

I'll do it for 2 grand a game, yes officer there's 7 thousand travelling to Aberdeen in a minibus there meeting at Starbucks then heading to the museum.

All joking aside,  this kind of policing is bordering on paranoia. If they did their jobs properly,  they would see the majority of fans groups and supporters in general are not about violence these days. 

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All joking aside,  this kind of policing is bordering on paranoia. If they did their jobs properly,  they would see the majority of fans groups and supporters in general are not about violence these days. 
Exactly it's not the 80s early 90s anymore they just have nothing else to do a

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35 minutes ago, munoz said:

All joking aside,  this kind of policing is bordering on paranoia. If they did their jobs properly,  they would see the majority of fans groups and supporters in general are not about violence these days. 

I think the point is meant to be that they are not being complacent.  Heavy handed perhaps but if it saves one person from being hurt then it's worth the effort.  I do agree with Munoz that the majority of fans groups and supporters are not about violence these days,  but some may be.  Better vigilant than sorry.  Saints fans have good record and should be proud and protective of this reputation and self-police to ensure we keep it that way.  Then.. No Police Action would ever be needing.

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12 minutes ago, St.Ricky said:

I think the point is meant to be that they are not being complacent.  Heavy handed perhaps but if it saves one person from being hurt then it's worth the effort.  I do agree with Munoz that the majority of fans groups and supporters are not about violence these days,  but some may be.  Better vigilant than sorry.  Saints fans have good record and should be proud and protective of this reputation and self-police to ensure we keep it that way.  Then.. No Police Action would ever be needing.

Can't agree with that. Heavy handedness and trying to turn innocent fans into supergrasses is not the way to go. All that this will do is, turn young supporters against the police. Treating innocent supporters as criminals is only going to have one outcome. 

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2 minutes ago, munoz said:

Can't agree with that. Heavy handedness and trying to turn innocent fans into supergrasses is not the way to go. All that this will do is, turn young supporters against the police. Treating innocent supporters as criminals is only going to have one outcome. 

Entitled to your opinion opinion.  As I said,  our fans have a good reputation.  Gained through their good humoured approach.  All the young fans need to do is more of the same. 

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25 minutes ago, St.Ricky said:

I think the point is meant to be that they are not being complacent.  Heavy handed perhaps but if it saves one person from being hurt then it's worth the effort.  I do agree with Munoz that the majority of fans groups and supporters are not about violence these days,  but some may be.  Better vigilant than sorry.  Saints fans have good record and should be proud and protective of this reputation and self-police to ensure we keep it that way.  Then.. No Police Action would ever be needing.

100% wrong.

What a terrible situation that nowadays it's being treated as a borderline offence and with outright suspicion to organise something purely football related amongst fellow supporters.

The police, if they do their job correctly in the first place, should be able to identify and remove any potential problem individuals...going to someone's door with 'you're pure smashing, gonna shop your pals to us please?' is absolutely rank amateur stuff and makes them look both clueless and inept.

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2 minutes ago, djchapsticks said:

100% wrong.

What a terrible situation that nowadays it's being treated as a borderline offence and with outright suspicion to organise something purely football related amongst fellow supporters.

The police, if they do their job correctly in the first place, should be able to identify and remove any potential problem individuals...going to someone's door with 'you're pure smashing, gonna shop your pals to us please?' is absolutely rank amateur stuff and makes them look both clueless and inept.

DJ.  it seems to me that they are attempting to do the most important part of policing... taking action to prevent trouble before it might start.  Does sound though that they might have handled it better.  On that I am happy to agree.  Once again.. I am confident that our good reputation can be kept that way by all of our fans,  old and young. 

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1 minute ago, St.Ricky said:

DJ.  it seems to me that they are attempting to do the most important part of policing... taking action to prevent trouble before it might start.  Does sound though that they might have handled it better.  On that I am happy to agree.  Once again.. I am confident that our good reputation can be kept that way by all of our fans,  old and young. 

So if this is the case , can every single season ticket holder expect a wee early morning visit from Police Scotland to prevent anything that may or may not happen? You'll be fine with the police coming to your door early morning? I know I wouldn't be.

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Just now, munoz said:

So if this is the case , can every single season ticket holder expect a wee early morning visit from Police Scotland to prevent anything that may or may not happen? You'll be fine with the police coming to your door early morning? I know I wouldn't be.

No problem for me Munoz.  But,  I  won't hold my breath.  Intelligence gathering is vital for policing. Now more than ever with Social Media. 

I carried out some work a while ago with Assistant Chief Constables on how they might work smarter in future. 

I asked them three questions. 

1. Are you going to be asked to do more next year? 

2 Are you going to get more resources ?

3 So how are you going to do it? 

Their answers were very interesting.  

As background,  the way they submit bills for policing was changing and required greater risk assessment in future.

I'm not writing any of this to attack any football fans,  ours or anyone else's. 

 

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9 minutes ago, munoz said:

So if this is the case , can every single season ticket holder expect a wee early morning visit from Police Scotland to prevent anything that may or may not happen? You'll be fine with the police coming to your door early morning? I know I wouldn't be.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181689/ :P

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19 minutes ago, stlucifer said:

Feck sake. Is there no end to Walter Mitty's talents. The ambassador must be patient.:huh:

Dear Sir.  All in a days work for me.  Each of us has our own talents and history. 

Edited by St.Ricky

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On a related subject I was walking home about 6.15pm on Friday past The Shed in Shawlands which is usually open before international matches for fans to have a drink. Outside on the pavement were about 40 Belgianfans, scarves, tops, that sort of thing and by no means looked sinister or threatening in any way mixing with some Scotland fans out for a smoke. Beyond the fans were 4 police vans with about 20 officers striding towards the throng plus another 2 on horseback getting in the way of the traffic.

It struck me that it looked like a ridiculous over-reaction to a few football fans standing on a pavement probably wondering how they were to get to the ground as there was only 1 taxi at the rank. i was going to say something to some of the cops but thought better of it at the risk of being huckled into one of the vans :o.

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At least we now know the real reason for the early morning knock and it would appear that a good few on here were way wide of the mark in their assumption that some of our support must have over stepped the mark to have caused it.  Police in Scotland have very little comprehension of modern day football support. Units set up in the 80s and 90s still use the same systems today despite a sea change in the way most young fans view supporting their teams. To a certain degree the "Green Brigade" with their political slant are being held up by the police as the "model" the likes of Saints and Motherwell have followed yet I see no political leaning in either. It's lazy, assumptive policing partly down to a lack of resource to fund a proper intelligence lead approach. Classic one size fits all stuff.

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22 minutes ago, Ayrshire Saints said:

At least we now know the real reason for the early morning knock and it would appear that a good few on here were way wide of the mark in their assumption that some of our support must have over stepped the mark to have caused it.  Police in Scotland have very little comprehension of modern day football support. Units set up in the 80s and 90s still use the same systems today despite a sea change in the way most young fans view supporting their teams. To a certain degree the "Green Brigade" with their political slant are being held up by the police as the "model" the likes of Saints and Motherwell have followed yet I see no political leaning in either. It's lazy, assumptive policing partly down to a lack of resource to fund a proper intelligence lead approach. Classic one size fits all stuff.

Spot on.

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7 minutes ago, Cornwall_Saint said:

Instead of focusing their efforts on Motherwell and St Mirren maybe they should be keeping a better eye on the Sevco fans who enjoy using knives, throwing bottles and causing fights.

Sadly never going to happen bud. I was watching the highlights of Sevco Motherwell the other week when McGregor landed on the Well player with his elbow, I told my brother nothing would happen. Same way Morelos got out of a red card, Scott Brown got away with elbowing Naismith, McGregor got away with kicking the young Celtic lad.

Scotland is terrified of these 2 at all levels, from the football pitch to the courts.

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