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Success in tackling football related violence and disorder

Prosecutors are successfully using the new legislation introduced to tackle football related violence and disorder, the Lord Advocate has said.

Since the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 came into force on 1st March 2012, 89% of the cases reported to COPFS have been prosecuted, with convictions achieved in 83% of those.

The Act created a new criminal offence of “offensive behaviour at regulated football matches” which criminalises offensive or threatening behaviour in relation to football matches that is likely or would be likely to incite public disorder.

The Lord Advocate also acknowledged the clarification in relation to the appropriate use of Football Banning Orders legislation provided by the recent Appeal Court judgement in the case against Ryan McDonald which clarified the law in relation to when a Football Banning Order would be an appropriate sentence. The court held that a FBO can be imposed where the conduct related to a football match as opposed to football in general.