Scotland

Fans face 'enhanced' security at Scottish Cup Final

Armed police officer
Image caption Police Scotland warned fans to expect armed officers at the Scottish Cup Final

Fans faced delays, bag searches and the sight of armed officers ahead of the Scottish Cup Final.

About 50,000 Celtic and Aberdeen supporters descended on Hampden Stadium in Glasgow for the match.

Security at transport hubs, crowded places and areas around the stadium itself was described by police as "enhanced".

However, police chiefs stressed there was no specific threat to either Scotland or the cup final.

The extra security steps, which followed this week's terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, came after the national threat level was raised from "severe" to "critical".

The level has since been reduced to severe, but police said the enhanced security measures would remain in place over the weekend.

'Remain vigilant'

Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: "While the decision to move to 'severe' is welcome, we must all remain vigilant.

"There continues to be no intelligence of a specific threat to Scotland. However, the enhanced police deployment we have planned for the major events this weekend will remain in place.

"The public should continue to expect to see armed police officers on foot patrol at key locations.

"Our policing operation will gradually be scaled back in keeping with the UK-wide operation - but will continue to be proportionate."

Hampden Stadium opened its doors two hours before kick-off, to allow more time for additional security measures to be carried out.

'Enhanced' security

The "enhanced" steps have included the presence of armed police, greater use of body and bag searches and an appeal to fans not to cause disturbances which could alarm the public.

Fans were asked not to bring bags to the match, but if they did they could expect to be stopped and searched both outside the ground and again at the turnstiles.

Police Scotland were working closely with the British Transport Police to ensure the reviewed security steps were carried out and that fans got to, and from, the ground safely.

Ahead of the cup final, Match Commander Supt Mark Hargreaves urged fans to allow plenty of time to get to the stadium and to drink responsibly.

He said: "The enhanced security operation at the stadium may include body and bag searches, which could potentially delay entry so I would urge people to plan their travel and get to the Scottish Cup Final in plenty of time.

"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."

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