(591) LIVING WITH CRIME IN THE NEW SCOTLAND
LIVING WITH CRIME IN THE NEW SCOTLAND
The August 2006 silly season came to a suitable end with news that the Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc had been cautioned by police for behaviour (including crossing himself) likely to incite crowd trouble at a match against Rangers in February 2006. The Catholic Church and Ruth Kelly MP, leading member of Opus Dei and also Communities Minister for England and Wales, expressed concern that expressing your religious beliefs might now be a crime in Scotland, compelling the Crown Office to issue a statement on 28 August that individual acts of religious observance were not to be treated as crimes in now multi-cultural, but also anti-sectarian Scotland (see http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk/News/Releases/2006/08/28140026). On the same day Glasgow City Council also decided not to pursue a complaint against Rolling Stone Keith Richards for smoking on stage during a gig at Hampden Park, the national stadium on 25 August. It appeared that the ban on smoking in enclosed places did not apply to a stage set under the open skies in the middle of the stadium. No escape from the wrath of the law in Edinburgh, however, for actor Mel Smith, who was not allowed to smoke a real cigar on stage during an Edinburgh Festival Fringe performance as Winston Churchill, but got some good publicity out of it for his show. The law also applies to taxi, bus and van drivers in their cabs, at least in Renfrewshire, where it was revealed that the local authority had fined some 50 such persons for committing the offence. Meantime, in a report published on 23 August, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association claimed that alcohol sales in its members’ pubs had fallen by 10% since the ban came in at the end of March.