261529 Exploring the relationship between family violence and major football matches in Glasgow, Scotland

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Prof Peter D. Donnelly, MD MPH FRCP FFPH , Professor of Public Health Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kirsty House , University of St Andrews, st Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
Will Linden , University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
Damien Williams, BSc(Hons) PhD FRSPH , School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
Football (soccer) is Scotland's most popular sport and major matches attract large crowds of supporters. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city has two major teams; Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers. Traditionally, these teams split the city along religious lines drawing their support from the Catholic and Protestant communities respectively, and are together colloquially known as the “auld (old) firm”. Rivalry is intense and passions at these sell-out games always run high. The segregation of rival fans, the banning of alcohol sales in the ground, and intensive high profile policing has largely eliminated violence at the matches; however, abusive sectarian chanting and singing, and heavy drinking and violent outbreaks before and after the games continue to cause political and policing concern. Moreover, police and healthcare practitioners have long maintained that family violence increases on the evening after and the day following such matches. We set out to investigate whether such assertions stood up to enquiry using routinely collected police data on reported domestic incidents on the day of, and the day following old firm games compared with Scottish International matches played in Glasgow. This paper explores the methodological challenges involved in addressing such a hypothesis, and describes our attempt to use the routinely collected data for 10 full seasons from 2000/01 to 2010/11. The paper, amongst other issues, reports the association between violence rates and match results, and thus presents for the first time emerging evidence about the relationship between old firm football matches and family violence.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1/ Explain the culture of confrontation and violence that traditionally surrounds old firm football (soccer) matches in Glasgow, Scotland. 2/Asses the extent to which the alleged link between these games and family violence can be assessed 3/ Describe our attempts to robustly explore this relationship 4/ Discuss our results so far

Keywords: Violence, Family Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: lead a research group focussed on violence reduction and supervised this project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.