Police plan Falkirk pub patrols as Rangers face Celtic

The Old Firm meet at Celtic Park on Saturday
The Old Firm meet at Celtic Park on Saturday

Police will be patrolling pubs in Falkirk as Saturday's Old Firm match takes place.

Studies have shown that incidents of violence increase in the central belt when Celtic play Rangers, with alcohol often a contributory factor.

Tensions are likely to be heightened this weekend as it's the first time the sides have faced each other in the league since Rangers were demoted to the bottom division four years ago.

And while police have not specifically said this is the reason for Saturday's operation, it is clear that they want to avoid trouble in and around local bars who are likely to be showing the game.

Officers will be visiting, inspecting and monitoring licensed premises from noon - when the match kicks off - and will be joined by members of the Special Constabulary and Community, Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit in what they describe as ''high visibility reassurance patrols''.

Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong said “We want to make sure this weekend can be enjoyed by all and the deployment of reassurance patrols to Falkirk town centre and local communities is to reassure the public that any disorder, drunkenness or violent incident is targeted directly, quickly and with the minimum disruption.''