As supporters gear up for the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday, police are issuing safety advice to those attending Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Up to 50,000 football supporters are expected to descend on Glasgow to get behind their respective teams as Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC compete to get their hands on the famous silverware.
With the city expected to be busier than usual, there will be an enhanced policing and security presence at transport hubs, crowded places and in and around Hampden Park.
Spectators may also see armed police present as the current UK security threat remains at critical. Although there is no specific threat to Scotland or the Scottish Cup Final, Police Scotland has reviewed its security plan for the event and appropriate and proportionate resourcing is in place, with the public’s safety its priority.
Police Scotland has asked supporters not to be alarmed at the enhanced police operation and to focus on enjoying the festival atmosphere at Hampden.
However, there will be increased security measures at the stadium which could result in slight delays on entering the stadium, including people and bag searches. Supporters are asked to take on board the following advice:
Spectators are encouraged not to bring bags to the stadium. Those carrying bags should expect to be searched at the outer cordons at Prospecthill Road, Mount Annan Drive, Somerville Drive and Letherby Drive. There will also be additional bag searches at the turnstiles. Please note that musical instruments will be not be permitted into the stadium on Saturday.
Supporters should plan to get to Hampden Park stadium in plenty of time. The stadium will be open earlier to accommodate the additional people and bag searches, with entry available from 1pm.
Supporters are asked to show consideration for the general public given the recent event in Manchester and refrain from demonstrating any behaviour which includes congregating in large numbers in crowded places such as major transport hubs, which could frighten members of the public that something has happened.
Please do not attempt to bring in flares or other pyrotechnic devices, it is an offence to do so and you will be removed from the stadium and arrested. Drink responsibly. You will be turned away from the stadium if you are drunk.
Superintendent Mark Hargreaves, Match Commander for the event, said: "We have reviewed the security plans for the Cup Final along with our partners at the Scottish Football Association and it will be appropriately resourced to ensure people attend and leave the event safely.
"The enhanced security operation at the stadium may include body and bag searches, which could potentially delay entry for a short time and so I would urge people to plan their travel and get to the Scottish Cup Final in plenty of time. While I understand that some people may be inconvenienced by the increased security, public safety is our priority and I am sure everyone in Scotland will co-operate with us and support this.
"There is no specific threat against Scotland, or the Scottish Cup Final, however, people should remain calm but vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.
“Enjoy the day but be responsible. People drinking to excess can also pose a challenge to police, emergency services and stewards and you run the risk of being turned away from the game or being arrested.
“This is a great event that finishes off the Scottish football calendar, let’s make it an enjoyable experience for all those attending and watching at home.”
Police Scotland will be working closely with British Transport Police and other partners to make sure fans get to and from the ground safely.
Inspector Brian McAleese from British Transport Police, said: “Our priority for this match is to ensure the safety of all fans travelling to and from this hotly anticipated match. The Scottish Cup Final is always an exciting event and we are looking forward to welcoming the many thousands of fans to Glasgow. I am sure it will be a day to remember and throughout the day we’ll be working extremely closely with Police Scotland and train operators.
“However, since the devastating events in Manchester and subsequent increase in the national threat level, passengers can also expect to see an enhanced security operation. Extra officers from BTP will be on duty on Saturday, both on trains as well as at train stations. We are there to help and protect travelling spectators and we hope our officers can offer some reassurance.
“In addition to the work to counter the terrorism threat, we will also be adopting a zero tolerance policy regarding anti-social behaviour. Please be mindful of other passengers using train services and keep noise to a minimum. Alcohol bans will be in place on train services and we would encourage anyone to report concerns to BTP by sending a text to 61016.”