18 arrests at Glasgow Orange Order parade

Eighteen people have been arrested at the annual County Grand Orange Order parade in Scotland's biggest city.

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Around 4,500 marchers and 4,000 spectators took part in the event in Glasgow yesterday.

Police said that the arrests related to disorder, drinking in public and minor offences.

The force had warned that sectarian behaviour and drinking in public would not be tolerated at the event.

Specially trained stewards accompanied the march, freeing up police officers to concentrate on street drinking and drunkenness, anti-social behaviour and in particular sectarian behaviour.

Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Andy Bates said: "This event is one of the biggest policing operations the division manages on an annual basis.

"Our priority is to make sure the parade is peacefully facilitated with the safety of those taking part, the general public and officers, being paramount.

"I recognise that it is not the people taking part in the parade who cause trouble but an unwelcome minority who turn up and use the event as an excuse to drink, cause offence and behave in a manner which cannot be tolerated in our communities.

"It is these people that my officers will focus on, targeting violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour."

Police Scotland said it worked closely with the Orange Order and Glasgow City Council to agree a route for the march and to try to minimise any disruption to the city centre.

Officers and stewards were stationed at various points to assist with traffic restrictions during the parade.

People driving in and around the city centre were advised to follow the advice and directions given, and to leave extra time for their journey.

Eddy Hyde, of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, said: "We are working well together with Police Scotland to ensure that our parades run smoothly. The new training regime for stewards that we organise in partnership with the police now means that we have over 2,500 of our own trained stewards for our events throughout Scotland.

"This has led to a real reduction on police resources without any adverse impact on safety or public order."

Looking ahead to other summer parades he urged every member of the Orange Order to enjoy the days with the "utmost decorum".

He said: "Our parades are a celebration of our heritage, not an excuse for anyone to criticise anyone else's faith or beliefs.

"I also have a message to the members of the public who are not members of the Order but choose to come along and support our parades: you are welcome, but please enjoy the music, colour and excitement of the march responsibly - alcohol on the streets is not permitted or wanted."

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