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Scottish Premier League: Post-match Violence Increases by 88 Percent

Andy MuirheadCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2009

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 15:  Rangers player Kenny Miller argues with referee Douglas Mcdonald during the CIS Insurance Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on March 15, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Strathclyde Police have revealed that domestic violence surged by around 88 percent following last Sunday’s Cup Final clash between Celtic and Rangers.

Assistant Chief Constable John Neilson of the Strathclyde Police said the force arrested more than 550 people on the day of the match—all of whom were drunk. Officers also had to contend with a rise in the number of attempted murders, assaults, and breaches of the peace. Such incidents have peaked during the last three Old Firm showdowns, Mr. Neilson revealed. He said alcohol was fueling the huge increase in violence following the games.

“This is the real picture of alcohol-fueled violence when there is a game of football on— and there is absolutely no excuse for this level of violence,” he told the Scottish Sun. “I want people to know this is happening across the whole of Strathclyde—and that something has to be done.”

Following the Co-operative Insurance Cup Final at Hampden Park on Sunday, domestic violence rose by 88 percent to 231 cases. There were also four attempted murders and a total of 160 assaults and 118 breaches of the peace.

After the previous match on Dec. 27, police received reports of 193 cases of domestic violence, 57 percent above the average of 123.

During the Old Firm game on Sunday, Feb. 15, serious and violent crimes more than doubled. And police were called out to 185 incidents of domestic abuse—a jump of 52 percent compared to weekends when a match is not being played.

Mr. Neilson insisted it was not the fault of the football clubs, the players, or the fans but rather the people who drink all day and look for trouble. Rangers and Celtic both said they were working with police to try and put a stop to such behaviour.

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Source: The Scottish Sun

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