POLICE have suspended the special constable who was seen apparently giving a “5-1” salute to fans during the Edinburgh derby.
The officer was pictured making the hand gesture, a reminder of the scoreline when Hearts beat Hibs in the Scottish Cup final in May.
The image quickly spread around fans and sparked complaints.
Colin Grieve, a secretary of the Hibs Supporters Club, said today he was glad police were taking the matter seriously.
He said: “It’s unacceptable. They are there to do a job and they shouldn’t be showing any affiliations to any one side, whether it’s Hearts, Hibs, Rangers or Celtic.
“They’re supposed to have a little bit of dignity in these games.”
But Mr Grieve added: “I don’t want to see him lose his job but he should be told it shouldn’t happen again. There’s worse things that happen at football matches.”
He said the result could have been more serious if Hibs fans had seen the gesture at the match.
He said: “If it was at the other end I don’t think we would take it too kindly. There certainly would have been complaints there and then. The fans would have gone round and demanded action there and then.”
He added: “If it was a joke I can understand, we’ve had it since the cup final and we take it.”
Hibs season-ticket holder and SNP councillor for the Craigentinny/Duddingston ward, Stefan Tymkewycz, who is also a former police officer said the officer’s actions had been “totally inappropriate”. He said: “It might have been intended as a light-hearted gesture but there could be a small minority who would not take it like that.”
He added: “The disciplinary element in this is for the police and they obviously feel he has a case to answer.”