Fears over policing boozed up fans at Hibs Rangers match on Black Friday in Edinburgh

Scottish Police Federation talk of concerns on traditionally busiest day of the year

Friday, 20th December 2019, 3:44 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 3:48 pm
Police have been called in on days off

REPRESENTATIVES of rank and file police officers have slammed the scheduling of Hibs’ clash with Rangers tonight.

About 350 officers are expected to be drafted in to make sure opposing fans behave themselves in a 7.45pm kick-off to cater for television coverage.

But Scottish Police Federation chiefs fear the added strain placed on officers by boozed-up fans for a late-kick-off on Black Friday - one of the busiest days for emergency services.

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“There’s already animosity between the two historically, if you go back to the cup final,” said Andy Malcolm of the SPF, referencing Hibs’ 2016 Scottish Cup triumph.

“The police and ambulance service are already stretched on what is traditionally known as Black Friday and they’ve put this match on with no thinking of the impact.

"A lot of industries will shut early today with the potential for increased drinking."

Mr Malcolm said leave has been cancelled meaning officers will need to take days off and out of their communities in the near future.

He added: “It comes down to money. Each club will get £50,000 but it makes no sense at all. We will have to stop investigating things or take officers from communities.”