Anti-social behaviourFAQKey IssuesNo Kingsford Stadium

Policing issues present real problems for stadium plans

our streets. You may have seen on social media last week talk of ‘an incident’ down at Union Square, with a police helicopter flying overhead.  This was part of a massive police operation that prevented a serious incident in Aberdeen.  Last Sunday there were plans made for a co-ordinated meeting for a large scale fight around the harbour area after the game finished.  This would be carried out by groups of ‘risk’ support –  supporters who are known to the police as being a risk of causing trouble.  The fight was to have involved a contingency from the German Club BFC Dynamo (who this year are ‘celebrating’ 25 years of association between AFC and BFC Dynamo), Aberdeen risk support, and Rangers risk support. [caption id="attachment_2799" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Rangers and Aberdeen fans confront each other in Pittodrie[/caption] 80-100 hard core Rangers risk supporters travelled in 2 charter buses which left Glasgow late on the Sunday morning.  They had booked a pub at the harbour.   They had no tickets and no intention of going to the game.  The late departure from Glasgow (the game was a 12:30 kick-off) was to try to avoid detection by the police   The police however did become aware of their intention, and once they got to the pub they were contained by the police for the duration of the game.   Their buses were ordered by the police to pick them up, and after a stand-off with the police they were given no choice but to return to the central belt and were escorted by police units while travelling south. In excess of 130 BFC Dynamo supporters arrived in Aberdeen on the Friday evening. [caption id="attachment_2796" align="aligncenter" width="300"] BFC Dynamo Casuals in Aberdeen for Rangers Game[/caption] These fans did attend the game, along with a large number of AFC risk support.  They left the game 10 minutes before the end (ironically staying later than many of the regular supporters depressed at going 0-3 down).  They then split up, some going to pubs at the Castlegate, and many went to Union Square.  There was a major police intelligence operation, making use of the dozens of CCTV cameras though the city and the police kept one step ahead of them arriving at the scene minutes before the groups did.   They were eventually all moved to and contained at Union Square. A large number of AFC risk support tried to gain entry to the harbour but were stopped by the police.   They then dispersed. Over 200 Police officers were called into the city centre to ensure these various factions of fans didn’t meet up.  Around 100 were at the harbour and another 100 at Union Square.   Can you imagine the horror of around 300 fans fighting in the city centre?   This was only prevented by a sophisticated and labour intensive approach from the police keeping these 3 groups apart from each other within a square mile in the city centre So what would happen should the stadium move 7 miles out of town?  How could this be policed?   An Old Firm game will attract around 20,000 supporters.  The AFC transport strategy allows for 3,000 away support at Old Firm games (currently they only get 1,800 tickets).  There will be a huge number of police required to manage the traffic and ensure the fans are segregated making their way to and from the stadium.  Police resources will also be required to manage the Controlled Parking Zones in Westhill and Kingswells. [video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

Watch the video to see some of the conduct of Rangers fans inside Pittodrie – watch out for the flying seats!

Earlier this year George Yule said “Instances of anti-social behaviour and hooliganism at AFC matches are few and far between”.  Few and far between they may well be, but that will be of no consolation to the people of Westhill, Kinsgwells and Aberdeen, who because of the logistical issues of Policing a stadium 7 miles out of town, may have to bear witness to those fans intent in engaging in serious disorder. Aberdeen Football Club only pay for the policing INSIDE the stadium – the full cost of policing outside the stadium is paid by the tax payer. [caption id="attachment_2800" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Damage to seating in away area by Rangers supporters[/caption] The issue of effective Policing is a vital one to residents in the local area: Westhill, Kingswells, Cults, Hazlehead and much of the west-end of Aberdeen will be affected by this proposal.  The challenges of effectively Policing an out-of-town stadium with extremely poor road access for supporting services and no CCTV is yet another reason why this development should not be granted planning consent. Aberdeen Football Club has a good record with relatively few arrests for public disorder. This is because the thin blue line of Police Scotland can cover games effectively in the current city centre location.   Move this to Kingsford and the thin blue line will be stretched to breaking point and may well snap.]]>

One thought on “Policing issues present real problems for stadium plans

  1. NO-NO-NO. Don’t these Aberdeen FC Directors understand English??
    Put this waste of space in Your city or better still next door to where they live
    As long as it is far away from this part of the county.
    By the way anybody tried the New roundabout off the Bypass? Even without
    The links to the Bypass open yet there is obviously going to be problems due
    To the tight corners already in-situ before the connections to Bypass completed.

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