IN his article on Friday “Scots fire chief expresses concerns over increasing frequency of incidents”, Kenneth Ward informs us much about “smoke alarms” but little about what should be done to address the current problem of the danger pyrotechnics pose to the ordinary supporter.

Football has been enjoyed for more than a century without the need for fireworks off the field of play. The only “fireworks” a football fan wants to see is in the on-field action. But how do you stop pyrotechnics getting into stadiums?

Stating the obvious, pyrotechnics are being carried in, concealed in clothing, bags, hats, just about anywhere they can fit.

READ MORE: Aberdeen fans ignore SFA & SPFL pyro warnings prior to Hibs game

How to stop it? Everyone who enters the stadium is searched – simple. After all, everyone who entered the national stadium Hampden Park to watch the Commonwealth Games or the Euros football tournament was searched and anything “suspicious” was removed.

The argument against that, we are told, is that it takes too long to search everyone.

Wrong! If your stadium is about to be closed to supporters, the clubs will certainly do something to ensure fans can enter and will make searching simple, easy and quick. My immediate thought is to erect Heras fencing sufficiently wide enough to channel fans into a single file, at the end of which is a policeman/trusted security person.

It’s not that difficult, if the concerned authorities Kenneth Ward mentions in his article REALLY want to solve this problem.

How could the problem last Wednesday night have been avoided? Again, by the use of search methods, only this time before the travelling support exits their bus, each passenger is searched. Anyone found to be in possession of pyrotechnics is immediately arrested, no-one on the bus is allowed to attend the match, the driver is cautioned as they are responsible for what and who is being transported, the bus company is advised their operator's license will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days, and their insurers notified they have breached their conditions of insurance.

READ MORE: 'Safe pyro' is a myth  only stand closures will snuff out flare shame

That, in modern parlance, is known as “self-policing”, because the sensible supporter won’t travel with those who carry pyrotechnics and bus companies will make it a condition of hire that no-one carries pyrotechnics.

If it is considered that the entire stadium is too difficult to section off for searching, then clubs already know where the likely areas where pyrotechnics are being used so that’s an area of high importance and everyone entering it is searched.

It may not be rockets fans are setting off but it’s not rocket science to bring an end to the dangerous actions of the minority.

If necessity be the mother of invention then it’s time for necessary intervention, and start with this suggestion.

Jim Todd

PRIVATE landlords are worried about rent regulation? Oh dear. How would they like legislation which forced them to sell their properties to sitting tenants on demand, at such a huge discount on market value and outstanding borrowing that they suffered a financial loss? Landlord, you want to reinvest what you got from that sale? Only for one new property, and only if you’ve sold four of your existing properties. Communism? Not quite. More like Thatcher’s Right to Buy legislation (imposed on Scotland pre-devolution).

READ MORE: Private landlord appeal fails as Scottish Government’s rent cap ruled not unlawful

Right to Buy was always a political project, less about promoting a “property-owning democracy” than about destroying local democracy and common ownership of assets. Council tenants got conned into this by slogans. There was never anything to stop council tenants “buying their own homes”. All they had to do was save up for a deposit, convince lenders that they could repay the mortgage, and go into the market for an owner-occupier property, like anyone who didn’t have the advantage of living in a council property had to do. The forced sale of council houses at a huge discount was a deliberate attempt to destroy the financial model which had supported the provision of affordable, good-quality housing for 60 years.

It will take an awful long time and a lot of effort by our parliament to repair the damage to affordable housing caused by dogmatic Tory housing policies. Private property rent regulation is good, but it’s just scratching the surface. I hope our government has a longer-term vision for housing than just annual targets.

Andrew McCracken
via email

SCOTT Lavery explains how Westminster has become broken beyond repair (More of the same..., Nov 5), but the situation goes far beyond economics. The UK system of government has evolved to the point where the people have to stand by and watch, helpless and unable to intervene as the government it empowered turns its back on humanity at home and abroad. The UK never was, is not and never will be a union of equals or a benefit to the people of Scotland. What kind of a future can anyone expect living in a union where one partner may soon be criminalising charities for helping destitute homeless people?

John Jamieson
South Queensferry