A FORMER Hawick High School pupil is one of three new prosecutors who will lead the fight against football-related violence and disorder in Scotland.
Faith Millar, who will have responsibility for tackling the problem in Central Scotland, Fife, Lothian and Borders, is joined by Barry Dickson (Argyll and Clyde, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow, Lanarkshire) and Vicki Bell (Grampian, Highlands and Islands, Tayside).
The appointment of the trio of Football Liaison Prosecutors (FLP) was announced by Lesley Thomson, current Solicitor General and a former procurator fiscal for the Borders.
This follows the successful trial of an FLP in Glasgow, as recognised in the recent Scottish Government evaluation of Football Banning Orders.
The FLPs in each area will ensure that there is a consistent and robust response to cases of football-related trouble, share their expertise with police and work with them to improve the quality of police reports so that a strong case is made to a court to grant a Football Banning Order.
Making the announcement, the Solicitor General said violence and disorder continued to mar Scotland’s national sport.
“Such conduct at football matches is not a problem that is confined to specific areas of our country, and as prosecutors we are dedicated to dealing with this criminal behaviour, wherever it may occur,” she said.
Procurator fiscal depute Ms Millar, 27, joined the Crown Prosecution Service in 2007 and is currently based in Edinburgh, although has also spent time in Inverness and Airdrie.
Brought up and educated in Hawick, the prosecutor now lives with her husband in Uphall, West Lothian.
She says most football supporters just want to enjoy matches in safety.
“The overwhelming majority of fans are well-behaved and want nothing more than to attend or watch matches and enjoy the game and the atmosphere. Let us remember that it is not just individuals who attend football matches – it is families too,” she said.
And she added: “I will take this opportunity to work closely with the police, the courts and other agencies who are committed to eradicating football-related disorder and to ensure that such behaviour does not continue to blight the name of well-behaved supporters.”
Speaking in support the Scottish Football Associa,tion’s head of security operations, Derek Kirkwood, said the sport’s national body in Scotland had worked closely with the Crown Office and senior police chiefs in assisting with the introduction and enhancement of Football Banning Order provisions.
“We support any initiatives designed to improve the safety of supporters in and around football stadia in this country,” added Mr Kirkwood.