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Across Scotland football clubs should clearly and publicly disassociate themselves from sectarian behaviour, inside and outside the grounds, through positive, public cross-club engagement and by becoming role models of anti-sectarian behaviours. And Police Scotland should be given full support by football’s governing bodies and clubs to deal with criminal football-related sectarianism in appropriate and proportionate ways and to standardise the policing of such behaviour. So said a report by the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland, after evidence gathered over a year.
The group said that ending sectarianism will not be achieved through legislation alone; equality, human rights and hate crime legislation should continue to be actively applied to incidents of sectarianism.
For the report in full visit http://www.scotland.gov.uk/
A further £861,558 is to be invested in community projects to tackle sectarianism across Scotland, says the Edinburgh Government after the report. Community Safety Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, announced the funding as the Scottish Government published its response to the report of the independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism. She announced:
The Scottish Government is to invest a further £861,558 in projects to tackle sectarianism, ranging from £402,740 for the Citizen’s Theatre to host plays and workshops in North Lanarkshire primary schools to £99,849 for Youthlink to develop community led youth work approaches to tackling sectarianism in seven communities
In-line with the recommendations that more should be done to evaluate and learn from what approaches are most effective, a new evaluation framework has been launched for all the projects in receipt of Scottish Government funding to enable robust assessment of outcomes and present consistent evidence that will help measure the collective impact and relative merits of individual approaches
A new, extended remit has been agreed for the Advisory Group, whose work, as announced in December, will now continue until March 2015. This will enable the Group to take forward some of their own recommendations and build on the work undertaken to date
She said: “When taking on the portfolio for tackling sectarianism I set myself two key tasks – to ensure communities were at the heart of work to tackle it and to improve our knowledge and understanding of sectarianism by ensuring our work is based on robust evidence of what works. We are moving in the right direction and the work of the Advisory Group – to whom I have very grateful for their detailed recent report – has been hugely important in supporting and focusing our work.
“Its far reaching recommendations are not simply aimed at the Scottish Government and I look forward to hearing how other bodies have considered the actions which impact on their areas of influence and control. For our part, I am delighted that the group has agreed to continue its work until March next year and we have now extended its remit to enable members to take forward some of their own recommendations and work with us as we continue to implement those aimed at Government.
“As announced in December, while we agreed that no further legislation was required to tackle this issue, we aim to ensure further work in terms of education and community engagement projects are progressed to improve people’s understanding of sectarianism and the ways in which it manifests itself. I am therefore delighted today to announce further funding for a range of community projects, continuing our commitment to invest a record £9 million in tackling sectarianism over the three year period to March 2015. We will also be helping those organisations in receipt of funding effectively evaluate their work so that we can build on the success of the most effective approaches.”
Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said: ‘Every year we work with thousands of pupils in schools right across Scotland and it’s clear there is a real appetite for change. Funding from the Scottish Government will help Nil by Mouth support and encourage the generation which will banish sectarianism from Scotland once and for all.’