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Arrests Up At Dundee and Dundee United Matches

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The number of arrests at Dundee FC and Dundee United FC football matches has almost quadrupled, according to police figures.

Records of incidents at Dens Park and Tannadice reveal officers apprehended 44 people at the grounds last year — compared to just 12 in 2013.

The most common reasons for detention were fans behaving in a way that incites hatred, being threatening or abusive and breaching the peace.

Aberdeen fans were involved in the majority of the cases, with fans of Rangers, Celtic and Raith Rovers detained in others.

The police statistics revealed there was a wide variety of ages detained — from a 14-year-old being arrested in Dens Park to a 55-year-old at Tannadice.

But only a small number of arrests involved Dundee and Dundee United fans, increasing from three in 2013 to nine last year.

Responding to the figures, Mike Barile, board member of Dundee United fans’ group the Arab Trust, said he was surprised at the increase in arrests.

He said: “It’s genuinely surprising to hear this. All the evidence I’ve seen has shown that this is not the case and the need for police to intervene and make arrests is going down.

“At most games, there is never really a lot of trouble and Dundee United has been successful at working with its supporters groups to ensure behaviour is not a problem at matches.”

Mr Barile added that he thought the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act could be one of the reasons for the rise.

“When this act was brought in, a lot of people advised against it,” he said.

“It was a real concern because it didn’t really get the scrutiny it needed.

“It’s good that there is a zero tolerance approach to racist behaviour, but I just don’t know if it’s the best way to police football games.”

The Act, passed by the Scottish Government in 2012, received widespread criticism from opponents who said it did not solve the relationship some people have with football.

The revelations follow a number of incidents reported over the last year.

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