‘Mental health crisis is not on the horizon, it’s already here’

STV News has been hearing from some of those whose lives have been affected during coronavirus pandemic.

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Over the past year we have become used to hearing about the physical toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the emotional impact on many has also been profound, causing a huge surge in the number of people who are struggling with their mental ill health.

Recent research by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) found more than half of those surveyed with existing mental health problems felt it had worsened during the pandemic.

More than a quarter said their specialist treatment or care had stopped entirely during this time, and Covid led to a reported 55% drop in referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

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So with warnings that a crisis is not just on the horizon, it’s already with us, what should the next Scottish Government’s priorities be when it comes to mental health?

STV News has been hearing from some of those whose lives have been affected by psychological illness.

‘I didn’t want to go through this’

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Long-Covid: Sarah MacDougall said more support is needed.

April 23, 2020, is a day etched in Sarah MacDougall’s mind. 

With nursing staff by her side, she took her first tentative steps outside after surviving coronavirus.

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The care home worker from Inverness knew she was lucky to be alive.

But her mental, as well as her physical battle, was only just beginning.

Sarah, 43, was put in a coma and placed on a ventilator after contracting the virus.

She pulled through, but now suffers from long-Covid and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now the counselling she accessed through her work is about to end.

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Hospital: Ms MacDougall survived coronavirus.

Speaking to STV News, Ms MacDougall said: “It’s the tears, the anger, it’s in your head ‘what did I do to deserve this?’”

Ms MacDougall still walks with a frame due to nerve damage in her foot and leg, and has been unable to return to the job she loves.

‘I’m trying to deal with it, but more support would go a long way.’

Sarah MacDougall
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She wants the next government to set up a specialist support group for long-Covid sufferers.

“It’s as simple as someone saying, ‘yes you’re feeling like this, yes you’re traumatised,” she said.

“I didn’t want to go through this. I’m trying to deal with it, but more support would go a long way.

“I don’t think that’s asking for too much. It’s very hard.”

‘There needs to be an education package to combat stigma’

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Support: Emma Strathdee has received a lot of help from family and friends.

Every morning Emma Strathdee puts on her walking boots and heads for Bennachie.

She’s scaling the hill in Aberdeenshire for 28 days to raise money for SAMH.

There’s passion and purpose behind her pursuit.

Ms Strathdee, 38, has suffered from depression since she was in her early 20s. 

She became an expert at hiding it from those around her, but during lockdown it intensified, becoming so severe that on two occasions she tried to take her own life.

Ms Strathdee says she’s had little support since leaving hospital, and has been told it could be up to a year before she can see a psychologist.

She told STV News: “More money needs to be put into the NHS.

“It should have been put in a long, long time ago – so that we can have more psychologists, more psychiatrists, even just more GPs that can speak to people about their mental health.

“There also needs to be an education package of some sort that the teachers can dish out from primary one, right the way through.

“Because there’s not the education, that’s where the stigma comes in – it’s still not an accepted illness.”

‘I tried to take my own life and I live with the guilt of that on my family every day.’

Emma Strathdee

Ms Strathdee says her family and friends have been a huge help, but outside support is needed.

She added: “I tried to take my own life and I live with the guilt of that on my family every day.

“Why should they have to suffer that when I could have had help a long time ago? And it’s not just me, it’s thousands of people.”

‘Quite simply, we need boots on the ground’

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Tragedy: Greg McHugh took his own life in 2016.

Steve McHugh wishes his son had felt able to talk.

Greg was a fun-loving, popular young man.

He was in his final year studying chemistry at university with a bright future ahead of him.

But instead of celebrating with his fellow graduates, Greg’s first-class honours degree had to be awarded posthumously.

Greg took his own life in 2016. He was 21.

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Family: Steve McHugh said it will ‘never be the same’ following Greg’s death.

Mr McHugh believes young people’s mental health must be the next government’s priority.

He told STV News: “We need to have in the community what you might call medical triage centres, so that young people, when they call in for support, they don’t have to go on a waiting list to see their GP.

“They can go on to receive a mental health evaluation, from which they can then be signposted to counsellors or others as necessary.”

‘I think Greg felt he didn’t deserve to live and that people would be better off without him, but if only he’d known how devastated so many people were, and how much love so many people had for him, I think the outcome would have been different.’

Steve McHugh

Mr McHugh stressed the need for action, not just words.

He said: “Boots on the ground – quite simply, we need boots on the ground.

“That’s what must happen if we are going to address this.”

Mr McHugh now wants to help prevent others from the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.

He said: “I think Greg felt he didn’t deserve to live and that people would be better off without him, but if only he’d known how devastated so many people were, and how much love so many people had for him, I think the outcome would have been different.

“It will never be the same for me and my family. You adapt, but it doesn’t go back to what it was before. It’s a different level of normality.

“It’s so sad that at 21-years-old you’ve got your whole live to look forward to, and now you’re just left thinking what might have been really.”

‘Some don’t go to their doctor because they don’t feel welcomed’

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Man On: Jason Moore is now a director of the mental health charity.

A year ago the Man On Inverclyde group had six people on WhatsApp.

Now the mental health charity has more than 100 members.  

For Jason Moore it’s been a huge support. In March 2020, the 22-year-old from Greenock tried to take his own life.

Man On was founded by one of Mr Moore’s friends who felt there was a lack of help and wanted to make a difference.

Mr Moore has benefited from the group so much he’s now become heavily involved with the organisation and is one of its directors.

But he says the onus shouldn’t just be on the voluntary sector to step in when times are tough.

He told STV News: “Through Man On we got a private therapist, so I got access to counselling that way. But we had to source it ourselves, it wasn’t through the NHS.

“I think there needs to be more education for doctors. I know a lot of people who don’t go because they don’t feel welcomed – they get the same treatment all the time.

“You would like to see the GPs have more of an education about mental health and go into more conversation and details.

“I also think we need more education in schools, to inform people about speaking out and dealing with emotions.”

‘There’s a sense of worry because you’re hearing of kids of like 12 who are struggling. And that’s really quite terrifying.’

Jason Moore

Man On helps people with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions and family problems.

Mr Moore added: “We do everything we can at Man On, but it shouldn’t be up to us to kind of play a vigilante kind of role.

“There should be more available, through the NHS and the doctors.”

Mr Moore says he worries about the rising number of young people now needing help.

He added: “There’s a sense of worry because you’re hearing of kids of like 12 who are struggling. And that’s really quite terrifying.”

‘It feels like on the ground we’re firefighting all the time really’

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Experts: Dr Sadia Mohammed and Dr Saman Khan.

Dr Saman Khan and Dr Sadia Mohammed are Glasgow-based psychiatrists who treat children and teenagers with mental health problems.

Alongside their day jobs, they’ve launched their own YouTube channel – Gupshup with Dr Sadia & Dr Saman – to raise awareness of mental health issues among Scotland’s Urdu-speaking communities.

When it comes to young people’s mental health, they say there’s demand like never before with urgent referrals amid the pandemic reportedly pushing the waiting list back to around 18 months.

Dr Khan told STV News: “Specifically amongst ethnic minorities, I think the stigma is a lot more. 

“Unfortunately, we don’t see enough ethnic minorities. We don’t see the same number of presentations reflecting the percentage of population that we have.”

“It feels like on the ground we’re firefighting all the time really,” added Dr Mohammed.

“There’s just been so much mental distress.”

‘We’re also seeing so many acute presentations of suicidal children and young people – people in acute distress.’

Dr Sadia Mohammed

The doctors said lockdown has had a “really significant impact” on children and young people.

Dr Mohammed said: “We’ve seen increased rates of referrals of all psychiatric disorders.

“There’s been an exponential rise in acute and routine referrals for eating disorders.

“We’re also seeing so many acute presentations of suicidal children and young people – people in acute distress.”

She added that before the pandemic around one in every nine young people would be expected to have a mental health disorder. That’s now increased to one in six.

“As we get over the pandemic, there’s going to be a lot more hitting our doors that hasn’t arrived yet,” said Dr Mohammed.

“There’s a really significant rise in mental health problems that are going to come our way.

“We really need a lot more funding. And not just funding that’s short-term, temporary for the next year or so – we needed sustainable funding.”

What are the parties pledging?

The Scottish Conservatives say they’ll increase the share of health funding on mental health to 10% by the end of the next parliament and develop a self-harm prevention strategy.

The SNP want to increase investment in mental health by at least 25% and ensure GP practices have a dedicated mental wellbeing worker.

Scottish Labour want to set up mental health A&Es in every health board and develop a ten-year suicide prevention plan. 

The Scottish Liberal Democrats want to train more mental health specialists and double the number of people training on counsellor courses.

The Scottish Greens want to allocate 10% of frontline health spend to mental health by 2026.

The party said it will also ensure everyone can access mental health support at their local GP practice with specialist mental health workers. 

The Greens will also invest an additional £161m into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services by 2026, and double the budget for community mental wellbeing services for children and young people to £30m.

The party will also increase focus on prevention, with better access to remedies like cognitive behavioural therapy and social prescribing.

Spike in East Renfrewshire Covid cases ‘causing concern’

John Swinney said case numbers will be reviewed on a daily basis in evaluating whether further action needs to be taken.

Scotland must maintain its guard to keep coronavirus under control, despite “encouraging signs” in tackling the virus, according to John Swinney.

The Deputy First Minister made the comments as he said that a spike in cases in East Renfrewshire has caused concern.

Speaking to STV News, Swinney indicated that case numbers will be reviewed on a daily basis in evaluating whether further action needs to be taken.

It comes as the majority of Scotland moves to level two of Covid restrictions, with the exemption of the City of Glasgow and Moray, with both areas having seen a rise in cases.

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East Renfrewshire currently has a case rate of 86.9 per 100,000 – higher than Glasgow’s when it was announced on Friday the city would be kept in Level 3 restrictions.

“We made it very clear when we set out the strategic framework that although we wanted to move down the levels in as unified a fashion as we can across the country, there may be exceptions where we have local outbreaks that we have to take action to strengthen the restrictions,” said Mr Swinney.

“Now, we’ve obviously regrettably had to do that in the City of Glasgow.

“We are looking at the numbers in all local authority areas on a daily basis to make sure that nothing is running away from us and obviously the East Renfrewshire situation is causing some concern.

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“And we’ll be reviewing these numbers on a daily basis to make sure that we take prompt, swift action to tackle any spread of the virus because that’s the way in which we’ll be able to maintain and sustain a position of lower restrictions within Scotland if we keep the virus and its prevalence under control.”

Swinney suggested the rise in cases in Glasgow were driven by the so-called Indian variant of the virus.

He said: “We’re at an early stage in understanding some of the most recent data on hospitalisations.

“Obviously, we think that some of the challenge within the City of Glasgow has been driven by the variant of concern that’s emerged in India.

“If that is the case, we need to see what the impact on hospitalisation is out of that particular variant of concern.

“So, we’re watching a range of data – case numbers, we’re looking at hospital admissions, we’re looking at positivity rates, and the welcome today has been the positivity rate has fallen again, case numbers are lower than they have been.

“So, there are encouraging signs, but we have to maintain our guard to make sure we keep the virus under control and the vaccination strategy, which has been very, very successful, is proving to be a very powerful weapon in containing the virus and in providing the public safety and assurance that we require.”


‘Blue Monday’: Anger as Glasgow remains in Level 3

Hospitality bosses were left devastated by the 'eleventh hour' announcement that left staff and stock on the shelf.

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While restrictions eased across the rest of Scotland, pubs and restaurants in Glasgow had their reopening plans ruined as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the city.

Hospitality bosses were left angry by the “eleventh hour” announcement on Friday meaning staff they had hired and the stock they had ordered have uncertain futures with no reopening date to look forward to.

Last week, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the country would move from Level 3 to Level 2, with some island areas going down to Level 1.

But amid a surge in cases in Moray, the First Minister said it was unlikely the area would join the rest of Scotland in having restrictions eased. On Tuesday, a decision had not yet been reached.

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On Friday, it was confirmed Moray would remain in Level 3 along with Glasgow as the city became the country’s Covid-19 hotspot.

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“It’s outrageous,” said Paul Stevenson, owner of Sugo Pasta in the city centre, “Trading under Level 3 restrictions means we are not making money…without the sale of alcohol and the restrictions of trading hours. Going down to Level 2 gave us a chance.”

Covid-19 cases in Glasgow are rising with the rate now higher than 100 per 100,000 people.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is making vaccines available for people aged 18-39 living in the worst affected areas of the city and everyone is being urged to visit their local asymptomatic testing centre and take a Covid test.

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Paul Shevlane, of Maryhill’s Woodside Inn, said: “We don’t have a date for reopening, which is obviously understandable because look at the numbers and the cases.

“But you then also think about staff, rotas, money you’ve spent to get open for today. Just all the costs, the outlay of everything.

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“All the staff were looking forward to it, all the customers were looking forward to it. We were talking a lot about it so, aye, pretty gutted.”

Neighbouring East Renfrewshire has also seen a spike in new coronavirus cases, with the region’s infection rate over 86 per 100,000 people – above the Level 2 threshold.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We are looking at the numbers in all local authority areas on a daily basis to make sure that nothing is running away from us and obviously the East Renfrewshire situation is causing some concern.

“Obviously, we think that some of the challenge within the City of Glasgow has been driven by the variant of concern that’s emerged in India.”

The Scottish Government announced financial support for businesses impacted by the continuation of Level 3 restrictions. Tourism and hospitality chiefs have said it is not enough.

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Donald MacLeod, convenor of the Glasgow Licensing Forum, said: “What should have been a happy Monday, a manic Monday, is really a blue Monday, a really depressing blue Monday.

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“I really feel for them, I think it was a disgraceful decision at the eleventh hour to make by the Scottish Government.”

The city’s health board said eligible residents should have received texts or will have letters soon inviting them to get vaccinated.

Professor Linda Bauld, of the University of Edinburgh, told STV News: “I think the testing is working well. We have a lot of testing. We’re testing more in the UK and in Scotland than most parts of the world. People need to come forward for the testing.

“The vaccines also extending to other age groups, really positive, but that’s not a quick fix. It takes time for that protection to be built up.”

‘Worst violence police have dealt with in 20 years’

Officers were pelted with bottles, barriers and fireworks as they tried to disperse hostile crowds.

Euan Cherry via SNS Group
An injured person was stretchered away as Rangers fans celebrated in Glasgow's George square.

Police officers have said Saturday’s events in Glasgow was the worst violence they had dealt with in 20 years, according to the Scottish Police Federation.

Thousands of Rangers fans massed outside Ibrox and then George Square to celebrate their team’s Scottish Premiership triumph before scenes turned “ugly” and more than five police were injured.

Calum Steele, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) general secretary, said officers who were on the ground told him the violent disorder that followed largely peaceful celebrations was the worst experience they had ever had in decades on the job.

He told STV News: “There is an inevitability that through adrenaline and through being pelted with missiles that officers are going to receive cuts and bruises.

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“But when that violence extends to officers being thrown up in the air, injuring their backs, having teeth broken, and further in the west of Scotland, having their arm broken, there are some serious questions that have to be asked about the kind of society we are living in.”

As the crowds of Rangers fans became increasingly disorderly following the consumption of “copious” amounts of alcohol, police in riot gear armed with shields began to disperse them, moving them off George Square.

As they were forced down the city streets, some supporters threw various missiles at officers.

Mr Steele said: “All of those that undertook and participated in the disorder in George Square are absolutely responsible for their own actions. But throwing of missiles, bottles, barriers, fireworks and other pyrotechnics at police officers, you present a real risk to life.

‘We’ll identify far more people that were involved and they’ll be getting a chap on the door in the next few days and weeks.’

Gary Ritchie, Police Scotland assistant chief constable
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“When we have police officers, with over 20 years experience, telling me that this is the worst experience, the worst violence that they’ve dealt with in 20 years, I think that’s something that has to be taken very seriously.”

Earlier in the day, one fan is understood to have suffered an extreme injury to his hand when a pyrotechnic he was holding exploded.

“The harm these kinds of projectiles can cause should never ever be understated,” Mr Steele told STV News.

So far, 28 people have been arrested following Saturday’s incidents which Rangers said ‘besmirched’ the club’s name.

The wounded officers have received medical treatment, one for a serious injury, and Police Scotland confirmed they were recovering well.

Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie said that a full investigation into Saturday’s incidents was underway.

He said: “We’ll look at CCTV, speak to witnesses, [and] police officers that were there. We’ll identify far more people that were involved and they’ll be getting a chap on the door in the next few days and weeks.

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“We’ll share the information around the identities of the people we believe are responsible with the club. I don’t think anybody who was involved in that on Saturday night should get anywhere near a football ground again in the future.”

Man killed in car crash that seriously injured another named

The 83-year-old died on Friday after the collision on the A950 Mintlaw to New Pitsligo Road, Aberdeenshire.

Police Scotland
Two cars collided on the A950 Mintlaw to New Pitsligo Road in Aberdeenshire.

A man who was killed in a two-car crash in Aberdeenshire that seriously injured another has been named by police.

Stanley Morrison, from Macduff, was pronounced dead at the scene while the other man was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to be treated for serious injuries.

The 83-year-old died after the collision on the A950 Mintlaw to New Pitsligo Road at around 5.50pm on Friday, May 14.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to get in touch to help them in their investigation.

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Sergeant Scott Deans, of Aberdeenshire Road Policing, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of the man who has tragically died.

“Our enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing and I would urge anyone who has any information surrounding the crash to get in contact with police.

“Police can be contacted by calling 101 and quoting incident number 2744 of Friday, May 14, 2021.”


Appeal for witnesses after woman knocked down and killed

The 22-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene after the alarm was raised near Caldercruix on Sunday night.

© Google Maps 2020
North Lanarkshire: The incident happened on the A89 Airdrie Road.

A young woman has died after being hit by a vehicle in North Lanarkshire.

The 22-year-old pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene after the alarm was raised near Caldercruix on Sunday night.

The incident happened on the A89 Airdrie Road, near to the Woodside Road junction, at around 11.45pm.

On Monday afternoon, Police Scotland reported that the road remains closed for investigation works to conclude.

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Detective constable Lyndsay McKinnon, of Coatbridge CID, said: “This was a serious incident and our thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of the woman who lost her life. 

“Our enquiries into the cause of the crash are continuing and I would ask anyone who saw what happened, and has not yet spoken to officers, to come forward. 

“We are particularly interested to speak to anyone who was on the A89 before the crash and may have seen the deceased walking.

“Anyone with information or anyone who may dashcam footage which can help the investigation is asked to contact police on 101.”


Dedicated team to track suspects in George Square incidents

Police have already arrested 28 people in relation to various offences on Saturday.

Euan Cherry via SNS Group
Thousands of Rangers fans massed outside Ibrox and then marched George Square to celebrate their team’s Scottish Premiership triumph.

A special team of police will investigate the incidents that took place at and around George Square in Glasgow on Saturday.

The dedicated inquiry will track those involved using CCTV, video and photographs from the scenes which officers described as the “worst violence they’ve dealt with in 20 years”.

Thousands of Rangers fans massed outside Ibrox and then marched George Square to celebrate their team’s Scottish Premiership triumph before scenes turned “ugly” and more than five police were injured.

At present, 28 people have been arrested in connection with a variety of offences.

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An online portal has been set-up so that the public can send detectives any video footage or photographs of incidents that took place on May 15.

Detective inspector Craig Warren, who is leading the investigation, said: “The public can be confident we are doing everything possible to identify those responsible for the violence and disorder on Saturday. This will take time due to the numbers involved.

“Rest assured, if you were involved in causing this disorder, violence or anti-social behaviour you will be arrested.

“We are reviewing CCTV, video and still images and I would appeal to anyone who may have captured incidents on their mobiles to please get in touch with us. You may have footage that could help us in our investigation and it’s vital we speak with you.

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“The Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) is now available for the public to send any information, photographs or images directly to the investigation team.

“There has been footage circulating on social media covering the events in George Square. If you recognise people involved in these acts of violence and disorder, please let us know. You can contact 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Coronavirus: 161 new cases recorded in last 24 hours

Scottish Government figures showed there had been no further deaths of those who had recently tested positive.

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Covid: 161 new cases in Scotland.

Scotland has recorded 161 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the latest Scottish Government figures show.

No new deaths have been recorded meaning the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7664.

A total of 229,774 people have tested positive for the virus and the daily test positivity rate is 1.6%, down from 2% the previous day.

A total of 68 people were in hospital on Sunday with recently confirmed Covid-19, with three patients in intensive care.

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A total of 3,035,790 people have received the first dose of a Covid vaccination and 1,638,536 have received their second dose.

With the exception of Glasgow and Moray, mainland Scotland moved to level two restrictions on Monday and some islands moved to level one.

Since the start of the pandemic more than 10,000 deaths have been registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Over three million people, around two thirds of adults in Scotland, have received their first dose of the vaccination.

Police probe video of Rangers players after title win

In a statement, Police Scotland said they are now assessing the content of the video.

Alan Harvey via SNS Group
Police said they are assessing the contents of the video.

Police Scotland has said it is assessing a video allegedly involving Rangers football players using sectarian language during their league title celebrations.

In a clip circulated on social media, a group of players are seen singing along to the song, ‘Sweet Caroline’, at Ibrox Stadium.

The celebrations came after the club were presented with the Scottish Premiership title on Saturday following a 4-0 victory against Aberdeen.

In a statement, Police Scotland said they are now assessing the content of the video.

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The statement read: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media apparently showing Rangers players using sectarian language while celebrating on Saturday.

“We are assessing its contents and will liaise with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as part of our enquiries.”

Scotland’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said it is right that Police Scotland investigate and determine the facts around the video.

He tweeted: “I have also been made aware of this clip, if (and I stress if) this clip is genuine then any player or staff member found to be guilty of anti-Catholic hatred should be shown the door by the Club.

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“It is right Police Scot investigate & determine the facts around it.”

In a statement released by Rangers FC, the club said that it had sought legal advice and is confident that no criminality took place.

The statement read: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media. It is evident that this video was shared with an adjoining narrative which attempts to discredit our players and the reputation of Rangers Football Club. This highlights the dangers of ‘trial by social media.’

“It is deeply concerning that this video has been taken as genuine and has been shared widely including by some political representatives who should be mindful of their influence and legal processes.

“Our squad is richly diverse. Sectarianism is unacceptable and has no place in our club which is underlined by our Everyone Anyone campaign.

“We are confident that no criminality took place, we have sought legal advice and look forward to cooperating with Police Scotland.”


Women in entertainment share list of ‘abusive’ men to avoid

List of 'powerful and abusive' men comes to light after actor Kevin Guthrie was jailed for sexual assault.

Amanda Edwards / Stringer via Getty Images

Women in Scotland’s entertainment industry have a shared list of “powerful and abusive” men to avoid while they’re working.

The so-called ‘whisper network’ contains names of men deemed a threat to women and has come to light after actor Kevin Guthrie was jailed for sexual assault.

Sunshine on Leith and Fantastic Beasts star Guthrie was locked up for three years on Friday after being convicted of an attack in Glasgow in 2017.

His sentencing has prompted a number of women to speak out about harassment and inappropriate behaviour, as they called on industry bosses to do more to protect them.

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Theatre producer Rosie Priest told STV News that the list had been shared between women across Scotland’s entertainment sector.

The men involved, she added, were often “protected by the cult of celebrity”.

She said: “That cult of celebrity runs deeper than the people you see on stage. Directors, writers, choreographers, CEOs – they all have this immense amount of power.

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Rosie Priest

“We know that, unfortunately, one in four women is going to experience sexual violence in their lifetime and that sexual violence isn’t to do with intimacy, it’s to do with power.

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“And as a sector founded on very unequal power balances, a very small amount of people holding a lot of power, it means that predators, abusers, bullies can thrive.”

Four years have passed since the birth of the #MeToo movement and the fall of Hollywood giants Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Kevin Spacey.

But many working in the industry in Scotland believe not enough has been done to protect them.

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Louise Oliver

Writer and actor Louise Oliver co-founded the Persistent and Nasty platform for women working in stage and screen to share their experiences.

She said: “There have been some moments across my career where I’m like ‘that wasn’t so great’ and I didn’t do anything at the time.

“I just had to move on and get over it.”

A court heard Guthrie, 33, attacked a woman who was “distressed and unwell” at a flat in the west end of Glasgow in 2017.

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A judge described the assault as a “heinous crime” as he placed the actor on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Theatre and TV actor Maureen Beattie launched the Safe Spaces campaign in a bid to rid the industry of inappropriate behaviour.

She said: “The world I want to see is a world so unused to that behaviour that it is an absolute shock when it happens.

“I suppose the revelations recently are shocking – but it’s like ‘there you go, it’s still going on’.

“To get to the point where bad behaviour literally took the breath away from you because you were like ‘wow, that’s extraordinary’ is where I’d like to get to.”


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