‘Stay sober’ warning ahead of crunch Hampden game

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Armed police and bag searches will again be part of a massive security operation at Hampden this weekend.

Tens of thousands of fans are expected to descend on the south side, posing obvious local travel difficulties at peak times.

Officers from Police Scotland are urging supporters attending Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier at Hampden Park to drink responsibly, plan their travel and “behave appropriately,”

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “This is a major weekend for Police Scotland as we see a marked increase in visitors to our cities which will undoubtedly impact on our transport network and hospitality industry.

“We have been preparing for these events and robust policing plans are in place with public safety firmly at their heart.

“Understandably, since the tragic events in London and Manchester, people are more aware of the current threat to the UK from terrorism.”

He added: “ There is no intelligence to suggest that Scotland or indeed this football match or any other event is a target but we have reviewed all forthcoming events to ensure our policing plans are robust.

“Armed policing officers will be deployed at both Murrayfield and Hampden Park stadium but the public should not be alarmed by this and they should be reassured that we have put in place contingencies to deal with any eventuality. “

“We will not let the threat of terrorism impact on our everyday lives.

“Enjoy the events over this weekend and be assured that Police Scotland have plans in place to keep people safe.”

People carrying bags at Hampden should expect to be searched at the outer cordons at Prospecthill Road, Mount Annan Drive, Somerville Drive and Letherby Drive.

There will be bag searches at the turnstiles too - and the stadium will open a bit earlier, at 3pm, to allow for this.

Meanwhile fans travelling from England have been warned about the different drinks regime north of the border.

ACC Higgins said: “There are important differences to legislation in Scotland that everyone should be aware of, including not being able to drink alcohol in public, on coaches or if you are too drunk to enter the stadium.”