Northamptonshire Police investigating reports of racist chants by celebrating football fans

Officers using video footage to identify organiser of Corby celebration

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 11:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 11:08 am

Northamptonshire Police are using video footage to investigate reports of racist chanting by football fans at Sunday's 'party in the park.'

Up to 200 Glasgow Rangers fans sang and let off smoke bombs and fireworks in Corby celebrating their team's first Scottish Premiership title for ten years.

Officers have revealed some of the reports phoned in by the public were from people who believed they heard racist chants.

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Rangers fans headed to Corby park to celebrate their team's title glory — despite breaching lockdown laws
Rangers fans headed to Corby park to celebrate their team's title glory — despite breaching lockdown laws

And they also hope video shot by officers on Sunday will confirm the event was organised rather than spontaneous, which could lead to them issuing a £10,000 fine for breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

Superintendent Elliot Foskett said: "We received numerous reports from the public concerned about the gathering and also reporting a number potential offences including racist chanting.

"A lot of the people dispersed as soon as officers turned up which indicates to me they knew they were breaking the law.

"A bunch refused to leave and officers started issuing fixed penalty notices, at which point rest of crowd dispersed.

"There were no fights nor any violent incidents, just a few stubborn individuals who refused to believe what officers were telling them."

Rangers had a massive lead at the top of the Scottish table and were poised to clinch the title either last weekend or on Saturday,

And witnesses have told the Chronicle & Echo's sister paper the Northants Telegraph the celebration had been planned via Facebook with many travelling by car, clogging up roads around the park.

Any gatherings of more than two people outside were banned under Covid laws until Monday.

Corby has seen stubbornly high coronavirus case rates since Christmas and remains among the top six areas most affected.

Northamptonshire's Public Health chief, Lucy Wightman, said: "We've had restrictions about meeting outside for a very long time for a very good reason.

"There is irrefutable evidence that virus can be spread outside, it can be spread on surfaces outside. People shouting being loud is aerosol generating so you've got more likelihood of the virus being spread, despite being outside.

"Our position, particularly in Corby, is still very precarious and these people have potentially undermined all the good work everybody else has been doing.

"Actions like this are irresponsible."