Police Scotland and Glasgow's Football Clubs United Against Organised Crime
Police Scotland and Glasgow’s senior football clubs have teamed up to educate young players of the dangers of becoming involved with serious organised criminals – underlining the negative and adverse influence it could have on their wellbeing and their future playing careers.
Young Celtic, Partick Thistle, Queen's Park and Rangers players will have the potential dangers highlighted to them during interactive sessions delivered by experienced and specially-trained Police Scotland officers.
Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, Police Scotland’s Divisional Commander for Greater Glasgow said:
“This programme is focussed on prevention where we will provide information and advice to players to help prevent them being exposed to the harm that those involved in serious and organised crime present.
Officers will explain to the players that these criminals will present themselves as reputable business people. They may come across as influential but the world they operate in is not glamorous. Experience elsewhere tells us that once in control of a young person they are known to use intimidation and will exploit them to get what they want, they only care about themselves.”
Players will be shown a video showing the consequences – including being drawn into drug dealing and violence – from the perspective of a former player played by an actor, who became part of the organised crime world. The scenarios depicted are based on true life experiences, with other potential pitfalls, such as match fixing, money lending and counterfeit goods, also being discussed.
Chief Superintendent Sutherland added:
“We will also advise that it is very important to be represented by a reputable agent who can be trusted to act in their best interests.
“Working with partners, this important initiative will help support the players to protect themselves and each other. It also underlines Police Scotland’s commitment to the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce and delivery of the Serious Organised Crime Strategy and has been part-funded by the Scottish Government.
“Officers will emphasise the assistance available from their clubs, the Professional Footballers Association Scotland the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Professional Football League as well as family and friends.”