Message from ACC Bill Skelly ahead of Saturday’s Cup Final #lbpcup


ACC at Press briefingOn Saturday 19th May 2012, Heart of Midlothian FC and Hibernian FC will compete for the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park, Glasgow.  This is the first time since 1896 that two Edinburgh teams have made it to the final and the day should be one of great pride for the capital city. 

 

The Scottish Cup Final weekend will present some unique challenges for communities in and around Edinburgh and for Lothian and Borders Police.

 

Large numbers of fans will travel to the national stadium in Glasgow for the game resulting in an influx in the numbers utilising the transport infrastructure, including the road and rail networks. 

 

It is important that those using these networks over the weekend leave plenty time for their journey and are prepared for possible delays Our partners at City of Edinburgh Council and First Scotrail have already released details of the provisions and plans in place for facilitating travel to the West and back.

 

I would strongly advise supporters to consult all the partner agency websites for updates relating to transport issues, policing messages and guidance from the respective football clubs.

 

With such a busy weekend of sport due to be televised, Lothian and Borders Police fully anticipate the various licensed premises across Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders to experience an increase in business. Many of those attending the Cup Final may also wish to drink before heading to the match, which they are free to do so either at home or at a pub or restaurant.

 

However, it is important that people adopt a responsible attitude and ensure their behaviour does not place them or others at risk of harm. It is a momentous occasion for the city and we want everyone to enjoy the festival of sport.

 

Lothian and Borders Police, Strathclyde Police and British Transport Police have worked closely with one another and with both Hearts and Hibs to prevent alcohol from ruining a special day for the capital.

 

Fans travelling by rail and coach have already been made aware that drinking onboard is prohibited and officers from each force will carry out various policing activities to remove alcohol from anyone found in possession.

 

Last weekend, police in Edinburgh’s city-centre carried out unannounced inspections at a number of pubs and clubs to ensure the terms of their licenses were being adhered to. Staff at these venues were offered crime prevention advice ahead of the cup final weekend and are urged to report any criminal behaviour immediately. Officers will provide a visible presence within these establishments across the weekend to offer reassurance and deal with any issues, which may arise.

 

Sectarian behaviour within Scottish football is very topical at the moment and active steps are being taken by all police Forces and football clubs and governing bodies to address this issue. It is important that everyone can attend football matches and related events without fear of prejudice or discrimination.  The Scottish Cup final should be a time for celebration and the public are reminded that police in Scotland will use relevant legislation in response to those acting in an unacceptable manner.

 

Regardless of the result, Sunday 20th May will be a day of celebration within the city and detailed planning has been ongoing between Lothian and Borders Police, City of Edinburgh Council and the football clubs in respect of a victory parade for the winning side.

 

The event will be a time for friends and family to come together and savour the success of their team and our communities can rest assured that public safety is paramount during all planning discussions.

 

The parade routes for the victorious team can already be found on the Lothian and Borders Police blog as well as on the respective club websites and fans are urged to consult these sites to determine their best position for seeing the trophy.

 

Communication between the partner agencies and the public has been at the forefront of this operation and all organisations are keen to utilise their various platforms for reaching our communities.

 

As well as operational updates on the police website – http://www.lbp.police.uk the Force will be providing an interactive service to the public via Twitter and our blog.

 Live matchday tweets with all relevant information can be received by following @LBP_Police and using the hashtag #LBPCup.

On behalf of Lothian and Borders Police I would like to wish both sides the best of luck for Saturday and I sincerely hope that supporters and neutrals alike experience a safe and well-tempered cup final weekend.

ACC Bill Skelly

 

 

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