20 arrests in Ayrshire in relation to football disorder

Two police operations in Ayrshire have resulted in twenty people being arrested in connection with alleged violence and disorder.

It follows an investigation into alleged violence and disorder prior to two football games in Lanarkshire on Saturday 13 April this year.

Around 1.40pm, police attended a large scale disturbance, involving approximately 70 rival football fans in Coatbridge Town Centre. Police were immediately on the scene and got the situation under control. One officer was injured in the disturbance.

Reports at the time said around 60 people were involved in a ‘pitched battle’ at a car park in Baird Street, Coatbridge with bricks, bottles and other items used as weapons.

Hooligans attaching themselves to Airdrie United and Ayr United, battled it out in what police said was a pre-arranged fight.

So-called Section B casuals from Airdrie waited in a nearby pub for their counterparts from Ayrshire, known as Ayr Service Crew, arriving by train.

Ayr were set to play Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill while Airdrie were at home to Partick Thistle that afternoon.

The trouble broke out at around 2pm and dozens of police, including officers from the specialist Football Coordination Unit for Scotland (FoCUS), were quickly on the scene.

Following this disturbance a joint investigation was launched between officers from Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and officers from the national Football Co-ordination Unit.

On Tuesday 4 June, officers acting under warrant attended at various locations in Ayrshire, including Dalmellington, Ayr and Drongan and arrested seven men, aged between 17 and 39 years and two youths aged 15.

A further operation on Wednesday 5 June resulted in an additional 11 people being arrested after officers attended various locations in Ayrshire, including Cumnock, Ayr, Patna, Coylton, and Dalmellington. The men arrested were aged between 18 and 46 with two aged 17 and four aged 16.

Those arrested have been released on an undertaking.

Chief Inspector Kenny MacLeod, Area Commander for Coatbridge and Airdrie said: “Violence and disorder on our streets, disrupting the lives of our local communities is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. My message is clear, if you are involved in this type of criminal activity, we will use all means necessary to identify and arrest you. If people think that because they’re not arrested on the day that they have got away with it – let me assure them that is not the case. We will continue to investigate any unlawful behaviour and activity and we will act upon it.”