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Cops to target football fans in posession of fireworks or flares at Edinburgh derby

A police operation will target football fans attending Sunday's Edinburgh derby - with cops searching for anyone in possession of fireworks or flares.

Officers will be carrying out searches outside Easter Road stadium before the SPFL game between Hibernian and Hearts, and a specialist search dog will also be used to identify anyone trying to smuggle illegal items into the stadium.

Police are warning that robust action will be taken against anyone trying to take flares or fireworks into the ground.

The warning follows incidents at matches earlier in the season where flares or fireworks were used.

Superintendent Liz McAinsh, who is in charge of the policing operation on Sunday, said: "The match kicks off at 1245pm, and I would encourage supporters to get there early, as there is limited parking near to the ground.

"There will be search cordons in place around the stadium, and searches will be undertaken as a condition of entry to the ground. A specialist search dog will be used to detect anyone in possession of fireworks or flares.

"We recognise that the majority of supporters are well behaved, however there are a small minority who in the past have put themselves and others in danger by throwing fireworks or flares.

"If this behaviour continues then it will only be a matter of time before someone suffers a serious injury, and we are working with clubs and stewards to do all we can to prevent such dangerous behaviour.

"Anyone who is caught with a flare or firework can expect to be arrested, either at the time, or as a result of a post-match investigation. As well as receiving a criminal conviction, they may very well find themselves being banned from attending future matches throughout the country."

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