CPS meets football supporters

CPS lawyer Rob Girvan has reassured football supporters that they're not unfairly treated by the justice system.

Rob Girvan

Rob (pictured) was at a community event organised by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) in Liverpool, along with the police and football academics.

Rob, a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Mersey Cheshire Magistrates' Court Unit, said the supporters at the meeting in the Epstein theatre felt they were picked on by the authorities.

Rob said: "I didn't realise how much they feel we're prejudiced against them. Some said they feel the authorities think of them as the scum of the earth.

"I had to tell them this is just not the case. I'm a football fan myself and regularly go to the match.

"They asked me why there was so much regulation and I explained it's not my job to decide on that. My job is to apply the law as it is, according to the prosecutors code.

"But I also pointed out that it's clear the regulations are working;- there's much less hooliganism at football matches now.

"Ten years ago, I wouldn't have considered taking my daughter to the match, but now I wouldn't hesitate."

The FSF represents and campaigns for football supporters and the event was part of their latest campaign - 'Watching Football is not a Crime'.

It aims to work with supporters and the police to make sure legislation is used appropriately at matches.

Rob said it was useful for the CPS to be represented at the meeting, to counter the negative assumptions of some of the fans and to encourage trust in the system.

He said: "I'm the football crime point of contact in CPS Mersey-Cheshire and have dealt with a lot of this type of case.

"The legislation is there for a reason. There's a lot of potential for public disorder violence and real danger at matches.

"The work of the authorities is for the benefit of fans. It's important that we get that message across."