UK TODAY – News / Glasgow / Parades
COP chiefs might not be able to keep putting hundreds of officers on the streets to deal with sectarian mayhem, a union boss fears.
Scottish Police Federation vice-chair David Hamilton also warned that someone could even be killed if the violence continues.
He hit out after a cop was hurt by a firework in Glasgow city centre as protests against two Republican marches led to running battles and 11 arrests.
The rampage came just over a week after similar shameful scenes in the city’s Govan.
Mr Hamilton, who represents rank-and-file cops, said: “The policing operation on Saturday was exemplary in containing problems.
“The officers who were there did a great job — but there were lots of them.
“They all had to be extracted from other jobs to be there.
“So there’s a question around the sustainability of this.
“In terms of the scale, it was unprecedented. In future it may be difficult to maintain that.”
We told yesterday how terrified shoppers fled for cover in the city centre as baying mobs clashed and officers in riot gear chased masked yobs.
And Mr Hamilton blasted the “moron” who chucked the firework that injured an officer.
He said: “Once again, some of the behaviour was absolutely appalling. Someone is going to get seriously injured or killed if pyrotechnics keep getting thrown. These are really dangerous explosives.
“It’s reckless to let them off in crowded areas.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to stop an officer being seriously hurt. We know these devices can maim.”
The injured male officer was taken to hospital but was later released. The SPF is pushing for laws around the carrying of pyrotechnics to be tightened.
They want new legislation that makes it easier for cops to stop and search people they believe are carrying the likes of flares and makes it a clear offence to carry one.
Saturday’s firework outrage was also slammed by Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, who said: “I am disgusted.”
They’ll face charges including carrying a weapon, obstructing police, sectarian breach of the peace and public order raps.
Justice chief Humza Yousaf said: “Our communities have a right to feel safe and protected from disorder and thuggery.”
He said he was looking at allowing Glasgow to “reduce the number of marches”.
Glasgow cops charge down street as thugs in balaclavas hijack Republican march
The city council said: “We want to thank the police for all they did to ensure trouble was kept to a minimum.
“But with 14 processions this month alone, we know this kind of march disrupts Glasgow’s communities and impacts on policing outside the city.
“We will be very carefully considering that when notified about processions in future.”