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COPFS

Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 (R009887)

Freedom of Information: Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012  (R009887)

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 March 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you seek information relating to cases that were brought on indictment under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 since its enactment.

Due to COPFS obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998, I am unable to provide you with the names of any individuals or copy indictments, as they contain the personal data of third parties and could be used to identify an individual or the previous convictions of an individual. However, I have provided additional explanatory information below as to the type of conduct libelled on the indictments themselves. I hope that this is helpful.

Please note that more than one charge may relate to the same individual and/or case.

From the period up to 31 March 2014 a total of 35 charges were indicted under Section 1 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 (“The Act”). These relate to a total of 3 cases.

The following are examples of the type of conduct indicted under Section 1 of the Act:

  • During the course of a football match repeatedly throwing items from the upper tier stand onto persons below and thereafter engaging in a stand up fight;
  • At a train station following a football match, forming part of a disorderly crowd; fighting, gesticulating, throwing missiles, challenging people to a fight and placing the public in a state of fear and alarm; and
  • At a train station following a football match; shouting, swearing, and uttering racist remarks, sectarian remarks and threats. Examples of the racist and sectarian remarks include “orange bastard” and “Irish bastard.”
From the period up to 31 March 2014 a total of 2 charges were indicted under Section 6 of the Act. These related to 2 cases.

The following are examples of the type of conduct indicted under Section 6 of the Act:

  • Posting comments on Facebook of threats of serious violence, death and incitements to others to kill or commit serious violence against Shiite Muslims and all followers of Islam; and
  • Posting racially aggravated comments on a social network site threatening serious acts of violence against an individual. Examples of racially aggravated comments include “monkey retard,” and the repeated use of “monkey” and “black monkey bastard.”