Charges reported under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 in 2013-14

Analysis of charges reported under the act to provide information about the nature of the charges, the accused and the victims of incidents, reported under offensive behaviour at football and threatening communications legislation.

1 Introduction

1.1 The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 came into force on 1 March 2012. The Act criminalises behaviour which is threatening, hateful[3], or otherwise offensive at a regulated football match where it is likely to lead to public disorder. This includes offensive singing or chanting. It also criminalises the communication of threats of serious violence and threats intended to incite religious hatred, not limited to those that are football-related.

1.2 This report focuses on charges reported under section 1 of the Act (offensive behaviour at regulated football matches) and provides an analysis of charges reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in the whole financial year of 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014[4]. Additionally, the report provides some information on charges reported under section 6 of the Act (threatening communications).

1.3 This report 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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