A TOP cop has hit out at the small minority of football fans who have a negative impact on the game ahead of the Old Firm fixture next week.

Rangers will play Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on Saturday, December 29 - and Police Scotland and the Scottish Football League are working together so football supporters can enjoy the fixture and the game is the talking point.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, who has strategic lead for the policing of football, said: “The vast majority of fans attend the match, support their team and enjoy the occasion and atmosphere. However, we are all too aware of well-documented incidents of dangerous, criminal and anti-social behaviour at football matches this season.

“I’m sure the public will agree this is unacceptable in a modern Scottish society and it’s really disappointing that a small minority are having such a negative impact on the game and potentially Scotland’s reputation. “

He added: “The safety of the public is our primary concern and Police Scotland is working closely with clubs to ensure people attending can watch the matches in a safe and secure environment, and that we have measures in place to prevent, and where necessary, investigate and detect any criminal behaviour.”

Police Scotland said around five million supporters go through the turnstiles each season and less than 300 people are arrested. Planning for festive fixtures such as the Old Firm is underway and the force is working closely with the clubs, and its partners, to make sure supporters can go, watch, and get home from their chosen match safely.

Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “The next couple of weeks promise to be very exciting for fans of Scottish football and we want everyone to enjoy attending our matches with friends and family.

“We know that the vast majority of supporters who attend our matches are very well behaved and set a great example.

“However, it is important that we make the tiny minority of fans who misbehave at our matches aware that we will do everything we can to identify and deal with anyone who commits an offence, together with our clubs, the fans and Police Scotland.”

Supporters are warned not to drink alcohol on the streets or in a public place. It is an offence. Drinking alcohol on buses and trains is not allowed.

It is also an offence to be in possession of alcohol or be drunk aboard a coach or mini-bus travelling to a sporting event. Officers will be conducting spot checks to enforce this.

You cannot bring, or attempt to bring alcohol into the stadium.

It is illegal to attempt to enter the stadium in possession of pyrotechnic devices, such as flares and smoke bombs.