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Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012

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1Offensive behaviour at regulated football matches

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(1)A person commits an offence if, in relation to a regulated football match—

(a)the person engages in behaviour of a kind described in subsection (2), and

(b)the behaviour—

(i)is likely to incite public disorder, or

(ii)would be likely to incite public disorder.

(2)The behaviour is—

(a)expressing hatred of, or stirring up hatred against, a group of persons based on their membership (or presumed membership) of—

(i)a religious group,

(ii)a social or cultural group with a perceived religious affiliation,

(iii)a group defined by reference to a thing mentioned in subsection (4),

(b)expressing hatred of, or stirring up hatred against, an individual based on the individual’s membership (or presumed membership) of a group mentioned in any of sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) of paragraph (a),

(c)behaviour that is motivated (wholly or partly) by hatred of a group mentioned in any of those sub-paragraphs,

(d)behaviour that is threatening, or

(e)other behaviour that a reasonable person would be likely to consider offensive.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2)(a) and (b), it is irrelevant whether the hatred is also based (to any extent) on any other factor.

(4)The things referred to in subsection (2)(a)(iii) are—

(a)colour,

(b)race,

(c)nationality (including citizenship),

(d)ethnic or national origins,

(e)sexual orientation,

(f)transgender identity,

(g)disability.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b)(ii), behaviour would be likely to incite public disorder if public disorder would be likely to occur but for the fact that—

(a)measures are in place to prevent public disorder, or

(b)persons likely to be incited to public disorder are not present or are not present in sufficient numbers.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable—

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or to a fine, or to both, or

(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

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