Warning for football fans heading to Angus New Year games

Flares were set off at a game between Arbroath and Montrose in October

Flares were set off at a game between Arbroath and Montrose in October

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A stark warning has been issued that any football fans displaying anti-social behaviour at the Angus matches at the weekend will be banned from future games and could be arrested.

In October at a derby between Montrose and Arbroath supporters were banned from local games after flares were set off.

After the match, there were “significant clashes” between opposing fans in the centre of Arbroath and three youths were arrested for their part in the disorder.

Police Scotland and local football clubs in Angus say they are “looking forward” to welcoming supporters and their families to the much anticipated matches on Saturday (January 2)

Montrose, Arbroath, Forfar and Brechin football clubs have been “working hard to ensure that everyone has a fantastic day” at Links Park and Glebe Park on Saturday and officers will be supporting stewards to make sure that these events are safe for everyone attending.

Chief Inspector David McIntosh, Local Area Commander for Angus, said: “Angus has a well-supported football community and there are a number of young fans following these clubs, who will be looking forward to watching the matches this weekend.

“Along with the excitement of supporting your team and carried along with the recent celebrations of welcoming in the New Year, it is important to remind all those attending that although stewards and officers will be expecting good natured fun and a fantastic atmosphere, we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, disorder or the possession or use of any type of pyrotechnics.

“We will be focusing on supporting stewards to keep people safe before, during and after the game. Be in no doubt, we will be looking out for any signs of disorder, assisting stewards with searches and identifying prohibited items.

“Those found committing offences will be banned from future matches by the clubs and where appropriate, you may be arrested.

“Please do not think that if you are in a group and you cause disorder that you will not be traced. Anyone that we do not arrest on the day and that we identify as having committed offences, will be dealt with.

“We take violence and anti-social behaviour extremely seriously and will use all measures necessary to ensure the safety of everyone attending and provide reassurance to residents in our communities.

“Please come along to these matches to enjoy the game. We would remind you to act responsibly and proudly support your team.”

Montrose FC Chairman Derek Sim said: “We look forward to welcoming Arbroath to Links Park on Saturday and I hope both sets of fans create a good sporting atmosphere.

“We take a very strong stance on anti-social behaviour and will fully support and cooperate with Police Scotland to maintain the safety and enjoyment of all our supporters.”

Arbroath FC Chairman John Christison added: “Arbroath FC have been working alongside Montrose FC and Police Scotland to ensure that all supporters attending Saturday’s match at Links Park enjoy what promises to be an exciting game of football.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind all supporters to be on their best behaviour and not to bring any type of pyrotechnic device to the game.

“These items are extremely dangerous and Arbroath FC will take decisive action if any Arbroath Supporter is found in possession of such a device at Saturday’s game.

“As there is likely to be a significant number of Arbroath supporters travelling to the game, I would remind supporters to arrive at Links Park in plenty of time to ensure admission before the game kicks off.

“Best wishes and a Happy New Year to all supporters from Arbroath FC.”

Brechin City Chairman Ken Ferguson commented: “Brechin City look forward to welcoming Forfar fans to Glebe Park on January 2.

“We wish all football supporters a happy, safe and enjoyable New Year.”