• STV
  • MySTV

Supporters' safety in jeopardy at Tynecastle, say police

The force has raised serious concerns after development of Hearts' new main stand.

Concerns: Safety issues at Tynecastle have been highlighted.
Concerns: Safety issues at Tynecastle have been highlighted. Jamie Devlin

Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of Hearts' new main stand at Tynecastle Park.

Police Scotland have written to Edinburgh City Council asking for the club's safety certificate to be re-examined after they identified numerous concerns now the stadium is back in use.

The concerns centre on crowd safety and movement, leading to the possibility of pitch invasions and a build-up of spectators in several areas.

There is potential for increased tension and risk around where officials are positioned, the letter states, with the directors' box having "no delineation from the rest of the stand".

Hearts closed the stadium for redevelopment and the construction of a new stand to replace the previous 103-year old structure.

The reopening of Tynecastle was delayed and a safety certificate was granted the day before Hearts played Partick Thistle on November 19.

In the letter to Edinburgh City Council's public safety department, Police Scotland listed issues they are concerned about.

Three matches have now been held at the stadium.

The police superintendent responsible for events in the city, wrote: "At present, I have concerns over the public safety of patrons attending football matches at Tynecastle Park."

The letter sent from Police Scotland to Edinburgh City Council.
The letter sent from Police Scotland to Edinburgh City Council. STV

The letter detailed a problem before the match against Partick Thistle when turnstiles failed, leading to lengthy queues and a delayed kick-off.

An incident before the Hamilton fixture last weekend, when a kitchen sensor triggered a fire alarm, also delayed the start of a match.

The superintendent also raises issues about lighting.

He said: "Given the incidents in the previous three matches I now have significant concerns over the reliability of electrical systems within Tynecastle Park.

"Electrical failings impact on public safety with evacuations and delayed kick-offs as evidenced in recent matches."

The superintendent said the likelihood of emergency or evacuation was significantly increased.

With four matches scheduled for the stadium over the next month, police requested "that the City of Edinburgh Council re-examine the safety certificate issued to Heart of Midlothian FC for Tynecastle Park and undertake whatever investigation that you deem necessary to address the points above and ensure a safe and reliable stadium".

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1402393-hearts-to-open-tynecastle-stand-as-jags-game-goes-ahead/ | default

Chief superintendent Kenny MacDonald, divisional commander for Edinburgh, told STV: "Police Scotland plays an active role in the safety advisory groups across Scotland, which have responsibility for event safety.

"I can confirm that Edinburgh Division has written to the City of Edinburgh Council in relation to spectator safety at a football ground.

"The safety of the public attending sporting events is paramount and there are robust processes in place by football clubs, the police and the local authority and other partners to ensure safety is our number one priority.

"We continue to work with all relevant partners to ensure that any future events are safe for the public to attend."

A spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "The safety of everyone attending matches is paramount and the council is working with Hearts and their contractors to ensure that the matters raised by Police Scotland are addressed.

"As work in the stadium is ongoing, contingency measures are being put in place to reinforce safety procedures, while temporary occupation certificates and general safety certificates will continue to be issued on a match-by-match basis."

Hearts have confirmed the club was contacted by Edinburgh City Council regarding Police Scotland's concerns, but say Saturday's match will go ahead following a satisfactory meeting between all parties at Tynecastle.

A statement from the club read: "Heart of Midlothian Football Club can confirm that it was contacted by Edinburgh City Council with regards to a letter sent to them by Police Scotland.

"The letter expressed some concerns regarding general security following a number of unrelated incidents at the first three games held at Tynecastle Park.

Following a satisfactory outcome to a meeting held today at the stadium, attended by all parties, the club is looking forward to welcoming Motherwell Football Club to Tynecastle Park this Saturday."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.