32 charged over Hearts-Hibs city centre brawl

Police have vowed to crack down on football-related crime. File picture: Steven Scott Taylor
Police have vowed to crack down on football-related crime. File picture: Steven Scott Taylor
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MORE than thirty people have now been charged following football-related disorder in the city centre earlier this year.

Officers responded to Hope Street Lane at around 5.15pm on Sunday 7th February following reports of a large number of men fighting and causing alarm to other members of the public.

The disturbance took place following the Hearts vs Hibs match at Tynecastle.

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A dedicated team of officers have been working closely with the National Football Co-Ordination Unit as part of Operation Rebound, Edinburgh Division’s response to football-related violence to identify those involved.

As a result, 32 males aged between 18 and 47 attended at named Police station by appointment and have now been formally charged under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.

Many of these individuals have also been charged with other offences including, possession of an offensive weapon, vandalism and culpable and reckless conduct.

Police are following positive lines of inquiry to trace a number of other males now identified.

Inspector Emma Croft from St Leonard’s Police Station said: “There is no place for football-related violence. Any such offences will be rigorously investigated and those responsible reported accordingly.

“Operation Rebound was launched specifically to deal with offences of this nature in Edinburgh and to date we have made siginifcant progress to hold those responsible to account and impose tough bail conditions whilst they await Court.

“For this particular inquiry we took a common-sense approach by contacting individuals to attend a named police station by appointment and as a result all have now been charged.

“With one of the Edinburgh clubs due to play in this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden, I hope fans enjoy the day whether they are travelling to the match or watching locally. Police Scotland Officers will be present in Edinburgh over the weekend to respond to any incidences of football related violence to ensure a small minority do not spoil it for others.

“We will continue to work closely with the National Football Co-ordination Unit and Football Clubs to carry out investigation as necessary into any football-related criminal activity, which occurs.”