Warning over sectarian behaviour ahead of largest annual Orange walk

Around 10,000 marchers are expected to take part in walk through Glasgow.

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Spectators of the largest Orange march of the year have been warned by police over sectarian and anti-social behaviour.

On Saturday around 10,000 marchers are expected to take part in the walk through Glasgow city centre.

In Stirling around the same number of marchers are expected, while in towns in North Lanarkshire 5000 members of the Protestant fraternity are scheduled to take part in processions to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Strathclyde Police has warned that officers will target the "minority" of people who come to watch the march in Glasgow who are "intent on causing disorder and drinking to excess".

The force said it has received the backing of the Orange Order in its clampdown on criminal behaviour surrounding the march.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson said : "The Orange Order Annual Boyne parade is one of the largest policing operations Strathclyde Police deals with on an annual basis. On Saturday, there will be 174 parades taking place throughout the force area. Of these, 46 parades, with up to 8000 marchers, will walk through Glasgow City centre.

"Our priority is to make sure the parades pass off peacefully whilst ensuring the safety of those taking part, the general public and my officers. Last year, for the first time, trained stewards accompanied the city centre parade freeing up officers to concentrate on those who follow the parade and behave in an appalling manner which quite frankly undermines all the positive work carried out by the Order and its members.

"As most people should be aware by now, drinking in public is banned - don't risk it as officers will seize it from you. Our message is clear, by all means come to support the parade but behave and be respectful. Make no mistake, anyone committing any form of hate crime including name calling or making gestures or people who commit acts of violence, will be arrested."

Henry Dunbar, Grand Master of the Orange Order, added: "The annual Glasgow Boyne Celebrations is the city's biggest street event, and we want spectators to enjoy the music and the pageantry in a carnival atmosphere. We do not wish anyone's enjoyment spoiled by the antics of boozed-up foul mouthed followers. There is no place in our celebration for public drinking, abusive behaviour or offensive chants.

"I call upon every member of the Order to enjoy the day with the utmost decorum. I also have a message to the more boisterous supporters: you are welcome, but please enjoy the music, colour and excitement of the march responsibly - and leave the booze at home."

On Saturday morning several individual marches by bands will converge on Glasgow Green, before in the afternoon thousands of the participants march through the city, some of whom will end their procession at Cathedral Square.

In Stirling, Central Scotland Police also issued a warning over anti-social behaviour at the large walk that will take place on Saturday.

Superintendent Gordon Dawson said: "We want those attending to enjoy the event but any instances of anti-social behvaiour will not be tolerated. Stirling is one of the top tourist cities in Scotland and the city is for all to enjoy.

"I want to reassure visitors to our city and our local residents that there will be congestion and road closures."

Branches of the Orange Order are also holding walks across North Lanarkshire during the weekend, with around 5000 marchers expected to take part in walks in Coatbridge, Harthill, Wishaw and Airdrie.

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