What the FOcUS unit were doing while this was going on remains at this point a mystery. Ok the game was played in England but a Strathclyde police FOcUS unit would have been attached to that game since it is a game regulated by Scottish football authorities with Scottish fans in attendance and therefor falls nicely into the new football laws.
So lets take a look at the Police. Just over a week ago the Green Brigade walked away from Celtic Park because of what they seen is constant harassment and bully boy tactics of Strathclyde’s finest. Some quarters in our support were quick to point the finger at the group for bringing it on themselves. What I want to ask is the following is the following another example of people bringing it on themselves ?
On Saturday I was contacted by a close friend who attended a Charlie and the Bhoys gig in the Bank Roll in Balmore industrial estate in Glasgow. My friend lives roughly o.2 km from the event so she knows the area well and the normal level of beat constables assigned to that area.
Despite this being a private function where everyone was asked to submit their names and the promoter hiring extra security that did not seem to be enough for Strathclyde Police who had roughly 50 officers deployed to Police around 85 people and as things turned out they did not appear to my friend and others to be there to protect anyone.
From 6.00 pm 2 hrs before the gig there where three riot vans and and 2 marked police cars plus CID plain cloth units. Over the course of the gig the Police were constantly ‘visiting’ the venue. Over policing ? I would think so. On the way home my friend was stopped 4 times by different sets of officers ask for names and addresses and what they were up to. Now remember their home was only o.2 from the venue. My friend also had to intervene on 2 occasions to stop the Police needlessly trying to lift a 19 yr old in a Celtic top. The 19 yr old was with a crowd of pals but he was the only one with a Celtic Top on. My friend managed to organise Taxis to get the younger people out of the area asap.
The police were constantly stopping people at random and seemed intent on getting a few collars. Thankfully the people attending the gig behaved and got out the road. I know and trust the person who gave me this info. The person in question is grown up with a family and is a law abiding citizen but what they witnessed made them so angry they contacted me. Unfortunately due to a ‘busy’ weekend I was unable to talk to my friend until tonight.
So were these people at the CATB gig bringing it on themselves or is it a case of anyone who shows any interest in anything Irish be it politics or songs are now targets for the Police ?
Remember this is a country that sweeps anti Catholic and Irish racism and sectarianism under the carpet and calls it simply ‘inappropriate’ .