1.1 The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 14th December 2011 and came into force on 1 March 2012. The Act criminalises behaviour which is threatening, hateful or otherwise offensive at a regulated football match including offensive singing or chanting where it is likely to lead to public disorder. It also criminalises the communication of threats of serious violence and threats intended to incite religious hatred.
1.2 This report focuses on offensive behaviour at regulated football matches and provides an analysis of charges reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in the first whole financial year of the Act (1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013). The Act was in force for a month preceding the 2012-13 financial year (i.e. March 2012), when 65 charges were reported to COPFS. Information about these charges is presented in Annex A.
1.3 This paper provides information about the locations, dates of charges, the nature of the offensive behaviour, the age and gender of the accused and the nature of the victims.
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