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Two Scots arrested in Carlisle after police stepped up patrols ahead of Old Firm match

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Two men from Scotland have been arrested at a train station in the north of England after police stepped up patrols ahead of today’s Old Firm match.

Officers in Carlisle say they were expecting an influx of football fans from Scotland to the area’s pubs after people were warned not to flout strict lockdown restrictions currently in place across the Central Belt.

The match, which Rangers won 2-0, was played in an empty stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Police carried out checks on local licensed premises in Cumbria throughout the day as well as engaging with fans, and thanked those who followed guidance. 

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But they say two arrests were made at around 4.45pm at Carlisle train station, both of which were from Scotland.

Both were arrested for drunk and disorderly, with one also arrested for possession of a controlled drug. They remain in police custody.

Superintendent Matt Kennerly said: “Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to the fans and licensees who listened to our message last week.

“Intelligence earlier in the week suggested that a large number of fans were thinking of making the journey to Cumbria from Scotland.

“Ahead of Saturday we engaged with coach companies and licensees around the current guidance and to think about their responsibilities, and the restrictions in place.

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“We had officers out in Carlisle engaging with licensees as well as fans throughout the day and fortunately, no licences were in breach of regulations and we haven’t had to issues any fines.”

In Scotland, no arrests were made, however, police said they were disappointed with a “small minority” of fans who gathered outside Celtic Park.

Superintendent Stevie Dolan said: “Despite there being no spectators, a policing plan was in place in case of any issues outwith the stadium.

“Disappointingly, despite the clubs, Government and police asking people to do the right thing and stay away, a minority of fans did gather near Celtic Park ahead of the match and pyrotechnics were used.

“Our approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance, and encourage compliance, only using enforcement as a last resort.

“We will continue with that approach, but we will not hesitate to use enforcement action where it is necessary.”

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