Policing of large gatherings of Rangers fans in Glasgow after the Light Blues secured the title two weeks ago were proportionate and had adhered to human rights principles by an independent review by John Scott QC.
After the scenes at Ibrox and George Square Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone asked for Mr Scott to review their handling after coming in for criticism from politicians.
In a lengthy letter to police, as reported by BBC Scotland, Scott supporting the overall approach by police as they largely let fans be as they celebrated the club’s first title in a decade with a massive party.
While there were complaints from several members of the Scottish Government – as well as plenty hand-wringing on Twitter – the QC was happy with how Police Scotland dealt with fans without overstepping the mark and infringing human rights principles, saying: “Whether in relation to protests or otherwise, the idea of policing by consent requires continuing care and attention, not least by government.
“Public confidence in policing is not determined by the activities of the police alone. Expectations arise from legislation and government messaging which should be as clear as possible.
“We are of the view that the overall approach to the policing of these events in Glasgow on 6 and 7 March 2021 was informed by, and consistent with, relevant human rights principles and considerations, in particular, lawfulness, necessity and proportionality.”
Despite a mis-placed belief from some that the gatherings would be repeated on Sunday when Rangers and Celtic met at Parkhead, Scott noted that the improved communications from authorities to fans – as well as “extensive engagement” with both clubs saw the Old Firm pass off without incident, adding: “It is worth saying that clear communications and a consistent approach, together with detailed preparations and extensive engagement with the two clubs and fan base no doubt played a part in yesterday’s [Sunday] Celtic/Rangers game passing off with no significant disorder or large gatherings.”
Rangers fans have praised a senior Ger for a ‘sensational’ display at Parkhead and hammered a Celtic player for a ‘bitter’ post-match comment.