Nicola Sturgeon condemns lockdown-breaching Rangers fans as arrests are made during title celebrations

Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at celebrating Rangers fans who breached coronavirus restrictions – warning they threaten Scotland’s lockdown easing – while Police Scotland have made a “small number of arrests”.

Thousands of fans gathered outside Ibrox and in Glasgow’s George Square to celebrate the triumph with Police Scotland confirming “a small number of arrests and issued fixed penalty notices” were handed out “for breaches of the coronavirus restrictions, minor incidents of disorder and the use of pyrotechnic devices”.

Sturgeon tweeted twice during the celebrations calling on Rangers to ask their fans, out celebrating, to go home and warning the actions threaten to delay Scotland’s exiting of lockdown.

She posted on Twitter as celebrations continued into Sunday evening: “I share folks’ anger at this. Everyone has made so many sacrifices in the past year & seeing a minority risk our progress is infuriating & disgraceful. It is deeply unfair to the entire country, and the police have a hard enough job already. Please ask fans to go home @RangersFC.”

She had originally said on Sunday afternoon: “I congratulate Rangers on the title win and recognise what a moment this is for fans.

“But gathering in crowds just now risks lives, and could delay exit from lockdown for everyone else. If those gathering care at all about the safety of others and the country, they will go home.”

Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, Divisional Commander for Greater Glasgow Division, added: “We are continuing to police the ongoing gatherings of football supporters in both George Square and outside Ibrox stadium today [Sunday, 7 March, 2021].

“Public safety remains our utmost priority and I would again remind fans that, in line with the current Scottish Government Coronavirus guidelines, all gatherings are currently restricted.

“Officers have made a small number of arrests and issued fixed penalty notices for breaches of the coronavirus restrictions, minor incidents of disorder and the use of pyrotechnic devices.

“We will continue with an appropriate policing response, as officers engage with those present, explain and encourage them to comply with the restrictions. Where appropriate, we have moved to enforcement and will continue to do so.

“For more information on the latest coronavirus guidelines please visit the Scottish Government website.”

Celtic’s failure to beat Dundee United on Sunday ensured Steven Gerrard’s side were crowned Scottish champions for the first time since the 2010/11 season.

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