COMPLAINTS police are being too heavy-handed have been made after charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act against Dons fans trebled in the past year.
There were 30 criminal charges against Dons fans last year, up from 11 the year before – the second highest in Scotland after Rangers fans with 58.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, a Dons fan himself, said he was concerned police were now actively targeting fans instead of dealing with real troublemakers.
He said: “I’m concerned about the heavy-handed way police are dealing with fans now, because I think the response has been disproportionate.
“The law as it stood gave police all the powers they needed and this legislation has failed as it doesn’t add anything of any value. It’s a case of the more you look the more you will find.”
A spokesman for Aberdeen fan group, the Blazing Lambs, agreed police were too heavy-handed.
He said: “I get nervous on away games to Dundee and Glasgow because police will be eyeing me up and it’s intimidating.
“I’ve seen people get pulled up for some ridiculous things.”
Community Safety Minister, Paul Wheelhouse said he recognised a balance must be struck.
He said: “The act is part of our broader work to tackle abusive behaviour and has never been intended as a single fix.
“However, I recognise that there are areas in which improvements could be made.”
An Aberdeen Football Club spokesman said the club worked closely with police to keep matches family friendly.
He said: “We’ve got one of the largest travelling support groups so by definition we will have higher numbers.
“The vast majority of our fans are tremendous and worth an extra player on the pitch.”
A Police Scotland Aberdeen division spokeswoman said officers operate on an intelligence-led basis with public safety as their focus.
She said: “Officers enforce this legislation in a proportionate and measured manner in all parts of the country.”
Under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act, the fixture between Dundee United and Aberdeen in December last year had more charges (31) than the Old Firm game in February this year (11).