FAC. Chris's Story – Humiliated At The Airport.Hocus FoCUS

FoCus Football fans not criminals

Hocus FoCUS Strike Again

My name is Chris and I’m a Celtic fan in public service in my mid twenties. I have no criminal record and my only experience of dealing with the Police is at football matches when cameras are routinely put in my face simply because I want to watch and support my team.
I was arrested in January as I came through passport control at Glasgow Airport. Cuffed and dragged out by four police officers in front of several hundred travellers and my crying girlfriend. My supposed crime was that I allegedly held up a satirical banner shown at a pre season friendly match between Celtic and English premiership side Norwich. I still to this day don’t know if I did or not as no evidence was ever shown to me. I do however know that the charge was absolutely ludicrous and the Procurator Fiscal obviously agreed as this case was dropped before I was required to appear at court.
I am involved in the campaign against criminalisation and a couple of fan groups at Celtic. It seems that I was singled out for this treatment because of that. I asked one of the Police officers why they choose to arrest me so publically in the airport, embarrassing my family. I was told it was because I had recently moved address and they didn’t know where I now lived. The officer didn’t respond when I said they knew where I stood at matches and no doubt where I drank and how I got to the games.
I was then taken to Govan Police station where I was eventually un-cuffed. In the three hours I sat in the police cell all I could think about was my arrest at the airport and how it was nothing more than harassment and an attempt to humiliate me. I was charged under the Offensive behaviour at football act and released from custody late at night with a court date set for February.
I never had to go to court as my case was dropped within weeks. In that respect I was much more fortunate than many of my fellow fans who have to attend court on multiple occasions and have cases and bans from matches hanging over them for months and beyond. However even in those few weeks it’s difficult not to think of the impact a court case and a possible conviction might have on your life. I work with vulnerable adults and a conviction for football related offenses in the current climate would see me lose my job and I would struggle to find another to provide for my family.
With football fans being demonised by the SNP Government particularly when they falsely claim the act is about anti sectarianism and tackling bigotry clearly having a court case hanging over me could seriously harm my career. From the recent statistics which showed only sex crimes have more conviction rates have lower conviction rates it’s clear that a lot of fans will go through the hassle of going to court, only to be found not guilty. It’s also clear that many of the conviction rates are based on guilty pleas as people like me want to avoid their employers finding out or the hassle and expense of defending yourself against charges under the act.
Almost all fans like myself would not be near a police station or a court room if FoCUS wasn’t in their faces at football matches and football fans had not been criminalised by the SNP.
Chris
Chris’s statement was transcribed from an audio recording I made at the FAC press conference. It is a correct representation to the best of my knowledge.
Keep up to date with Fans Against Criminalisation  and keep an eye on Hocus FoCUS.

Comments

  1. Another innocent bystander another disgraceful act by the police and SNP Goverment if you can call them that . After last weeks farce justice committee meeting it doesn’t look like it will get any better. Is there a case for wrongful arrest? How do the police expect respect or indeed help when they treat innocent poeple like this. These actions have to severely condemned. The SNP obviously don’t realise how much they are alienating themselves before the independance vote with some of their recent law changes. BE IT ON THEIR OWN HEAD I feel very angry at the way these young men have been treated and as much as I love Celtic they have to take a share of the blame and get this problem sorted, sooner than later for the club and fans sake.
    robbied4

  2. Can any fan really say they trust the SNP after this shameful act and these sad witness statements.i cannot envisage living in an independent Scotland under these scottish fascists.please remember this act when it comes to the 2014 vote!!

  3. dan we will be voting for independance not the snp,once we gain independance then you vote for a government it doesnt have to be salmond,as for chris that was shocking,it seems the police are not protect and serve anymore just serve politicians

    1. I’ll be voting for independence but I’ll never vote for the SNP again. Anyway after the vote they will be finished.
      No reason for them to exist after 2014.

  4. For goodness sake!
    This is not the SNP at work on an anti-Celtic or Celtic supporters agenda, these actions by the judiciary has been going on for more than decades and we all know it…
    It is the establishment in ‘wee rosey Scotland’ where nothing is wrong, move on, nothing to see here.
    So glad I live somewhere else now.

    1. Rubbish. And since you live ‘elsewhere’ it does not affect you. Also by your statement you show your ignorance of the facts. So kindly get off your high horse and leave us who are affected by this brutal legislation to fight it.

  5. Don’t know why the police would need to know where someone stays when they have no outstanding cases.

  6. Exactly. 2015 should see them gone.
    Ironically,voting for independence will give us the best opportunity to get rid of Salmond, McAskill, Graham and the rest of that rotten tribe.

  7. Exactly Jas. 2015 should see them gone and good riddance.
    Ironically, a YES result in the referendum will give us the best opportunity to get rid of Salmond, McAskill, Graham and the rest of that rotten tribe.
    Once independence has been achieved, the next drive will be to make Scotland a republic. That should be fun.

  8. It would be unfair of me to enter the independence debate as I now live in England. It would, therefore, be presumptuous of me to comment on a topic that has no direct bearing on my life. However, I do think that, like any concerned human being, I am entitled to stand against any unjust law that criminalises, harasses, compromises and even threatens the reputation, lifestyle or the very livelihood of an individual solely on the grounds that he/she is a football supporter. And Chris’ story epitomises all that is unjust and soulless about such a law. Believe me, this bill is not about the law or justice or any of those high minded moral values. It is about victimising football fans. Why do I make this claim? Why do I see the need for FoCUS (check out an example of Strathclyde’s finest, http://talfanzine.info/blog/2013/02/22/meet-the-strathclyde-police-focus-team/) and the subsequent judicial response as overkill? Simply because laws were already in place to deal with the type of offences being alleged and the only changes in the new legislation are tweaks and re-interpretations of existing laws in order to create very specific targets of football supporters. This legislation was not born out of a need to address a particular problem or because behaviour at football matches had become so bad it was beyond the normal capabilities of the police and stewards. No, it was simply a knee jerk reaction to one isolated occasion on which the actions of one club and one group of supporters were interpreted, for once, as unacceptable. Unfortunately, the S.N.P. brainwave was to use the response to the events as what seems now to be a misguided opportunity for vote catching. In fact, it is obviously NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with genuine justice.
    For me as an outsider, it is very clear why there is such a bitter reaction to the S.N.P.’s delusions. Any decent minded person, in any country, would recognise this ridiculous law for what it is and the true purpose it serves. But, as JasCam says, a vote for independence is not a vote for the S.N.P. Such a party should be seen to have achieved its purpose. However, given its seeming inability to execute a useful and proper function any longer, it should be deemed fit only for the scrap heap. There is nothing in the S.N.P. record so condemnatory or so espouses its ineptitude than this injudicious and superfluous piece of junk legislation.
    offensive-behaviour-at-football-and-threatening-communications-scotland-bill
    Jas
    It is nice to be back on site. I still need to find my way around but it is looking good.
    H H

  9. Yesterday, an orange parade passed by my house and the band were playing that old traditional cultural favourite, “Sloop John B”.
    Can any of our of our commentators please enlighten me as to why an orange parade band would play a Beach Boys tune dating from 1966, as part of their cultural celebrations commemorating events from the 17th century?
    Rhetorical question of course.
    I’ll post this comment on several sites. I might award a prize for the most imaginative attempt at a plausible explanation.

  10. Again 2Innocent CELTIC PEOPLE taken away for nothing but lies &made up stories.Why is it always the same GOOD CELTIC PEOLE always getting arrased &judiciary establishment walk free & not charged with lies made up convictins ,somting got be done regaurding this or it will keep happning.If it was rod stewart god forgive me or anybody with loads off money getting harrased like CHRIS &DAN wee all know the hole case would go staight to court.It terreble what all tims go through waitng on court cases family work again this hS BE STOPPED.After all all police & the rest of the establishment raise thier right hand & swear on a Bible under oath what ajoke still they all walk free while WEE all get vectimised. HH KTF. THE OLD DAYS ARE BACK,GOD BLESS

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