Celtic letter bombs: David Cameron condemns ‘appalling’ sectarianism
David Cameron has suggested that police, prosecutors and canada goose coat 1000 bulbs garland politicians have failed to combat anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland following the “appalling” letter bomb attacks on Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
Speaking in Glasgow, the prime minister said the targeting of Lennon and two other prominent Catholics with crude incendiary devices packed with nails was an “absolutely appalling act”.
Cameron added to concerns from prominent Catholics that the police, footballing authorities and the judiciary in Scotland had failed to crack down on sectarianism.
“It is a reminder of the appalling sectarianism that exists in some people’s minds. Even as we actually deal canada goose coat – victoria with it quite effectively in Northern Ireland, it’s still a problem and it must be sought out and crushed,” he said in a BBC Radio Scotland interview.
The police investigation into the letter bombing intensified earlier this week after Scotland’s chief law officer, Elish Angiolini, the Lord Advocate, called in Stephen House, the canada goose coat 1000 calorie a day diet chief constable of Strathclyde like it, on Monday after she heard that Paul McBride QC was one of the Celtic fans targeted by the letter bomber.
McBride is one of Scotland’s most influential defence lawyers, who sits on the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and has been tipped as a possible law officer for the UK government.
Detectives have this week drafted in expert technical help on profiling suspects from the Home Office in London.
They are understood to be targeting the area around Kilwinning, best canada goose jacket Saltcoast and Irvine in north buy canada goose jacket cheap Ayrshire – the towns were several of the packages was posted – with specialist undercover surveillance teams using the Regulation of Investigatory powers (Scotland) Act.
Strathclyde police are expected to use undercover snatch squads at this Sunday’s match between arch rivals Rangers and Celtic at Rangers’ stadium, to arrest fans of both teams caught singing bigoted or pro-terrorism chants on the terraces.
The new tactics were agreed before Strathclyde police discovered that the devices sent to Lennon, his lawyer Paul McBride QC, and Trish Godman, the former deputy presiding officer of the Scottish parliament, were viable and capable of causing “real harm”.
Another suspicious package sent best place to buy a canada goose jacket in toronto buy canada goose coat uk to the former best canada goose jacket Labour minister and Celtic football club director Brian Wilson on the Isle of Lewis has been declared safe by bomb disposal experts. The police were alerted after the package arrived a tweed mill near his home, which Wilson partly owns.
Previous games have led to 79 arrests of fans, on-field clashes involving players, a touchline confrontation between Lennon and the Rangers’ manager designate Ally McCoist, and verbal abuse by Lennon of Rangers’ player El Hadj Diouf.
These incidents led Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, to convene an emergency summit involving the footballing authorities, both clubs and the police. The previous week, one of Scotland’s main anti-bigotry charities, Nil By Mouth, said its government funding had ended. It was reinstated on the day of the summit.
The Scottish Catholic church said an overwhelming number of sectarian offences on and off the terraces had targeted Catholics. It has stepped up its criticisms of the Crown Office, the prosecution service, for failing to enforce strict anti-sectarian legislation brought in seven years canada goose coat 1000 bulbs promo ago, primarily to combat anti-Catholic bigotry.
The Crown Office has refused to monitor convictions for sectarianism and does not hold that data centrally. Its last and only survey of the targets of bigotry, in 2006, found that Catholics were six times more likely to be victims. There were 629 charges of offences aggravated by religious prejudice in Scotland in 2009/10, but no breakdown on the religion of the victim.
Professor Tom Devine, Scotland’s leading historian and a past adviser on sectarianism to the Scottish government, said he shared Cameron’s and the church’s criticisms.
Devine said the police had repeatedly failed to arrest thousands of Rangers fans singing sectarian songs, despite video evidence, and that anti-Catholic bigotry was insidious in parts of Scotland, particularly in the west. At a recent League Cup game between Rangers and Celtic, he added: “There were literally thousands of people carrying out a collective and brazen act of sectarian-aggravated breach of the peace, and the police did nothing. The law isn’t being enforced.”
Strathclyde defended its policing of previous Old Firm matches. A spokeswoman said: “Strathclyde police is satisfied we take appropriate action again people who indulge in sectarian behaviour. We have always said we cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem and we will continue to work alongside other organisations to tackle this issue.”
In a blog for the Daily Telegraph, James MacMillan, the Queen’s composer, who also composed music for the pope’s visit last year, said the attacks on Lennon came “in the wake of the incompetence and reluctance of politicians, police and football authorities to tackle the anti-Catholic bile at the heart of the Rangers culture and a significant section of modern Scottish society.”
The Crown Office said it was about to repeat the 2006 survey, saying special arrangements needed to be put in place because data on sectarian offences was not held centrally. “The prosecution takes all crimes aggravated by religious prejudice extremely seriously and we have a very robust enforcement policy,” a spokeswoman said.
In Northern Ireland, the leader of the Protestant Ulster Defence Association, Jackie McDonald, said he “totally condemned” the individuals sending the devices. Although as a Rangers fan, he had “no time for Lennon,” McDonald added: “No one has the right to attack him or his family.”
Earlier, loyalist sources connected to the Ulster Volunteer can i wash my canada goose coat Force said the bomb plot in Scotland was the work of a deranged individual, or individuals, and not linked to the loyalist cause.