CPS announces 'lead football prosecutors' to tackle football hooliganism


The creation of lead football prosecutors in all Areas and new instructions on evidence for prosecutors are part of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) amended Guidance on Football Related Offences.

 Nick Hawkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the CPS lead for football matters, said: "CPS Areas and police forces have worked closely for many years now to tackle football related violence and hooliganism.

"This collaboration will be strengthened as the CPS is aiming to have in each Area at least one nominated "lead football prosecutor" for each Premiership and Football League Club.

"This prosecutor will develop a close working liaison with the Football Intelligence Officer for the Police Force and the Club for which he or she is responsible."

The lead football prosecutor for CPS Thames Valley is Carolyn Hitchcock, who is based at the Cowley office in Oxford.  

The revised Prosecution Policy for Football Related Offences explains

  • How prosecutors should call additional evidence establishing the defendants history of behaviour associated with football to show the court why a football ban is required.
  • How the CPS and the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) should proceed when applying for football banning orders for adult and youth defendants.
  • How it will be possible for youths to be charged and bailed to their "home court" even when the offence is committed away from their residence.

Mr Hawkins said: "These amendments demonstrate how efficiently we collaborate with police forces and how strong our applications for football banning orders are.

"The CPS and police forces are determined and committed to stopping all violence related to football and this revised guidance shows just how we will do this."

Stephen Thomas, ACPO lead on football related matters and Assistant Chief Constable British Transport Police said:

"ACPO welcomes the creation of the CPS lead football prosecutor for each club and the amended guidance to prosecutors on dealing with football-related matters.

"Police forces around the country are committed to working with our partner agencies to stamp out football hooliganism. A tough police stance to anti-social and disorderly behaviour over recent years has seen a decrease in football-related violence."

Notes to Editors

The Legal Guidance on football related offences and the Prosecution Policy for Football Related Offences are available on this website.

Local media enquiries to Jacqui Broadbridge, CPS Thames Valley on 0118 951 3640.

Other enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8105. ACPO Press Office on 020 7084 8947.

The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution;
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute;
  • Preparing cases for court;
  • Presentation of cases at court;

The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 83.7% in 2006-07.

The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests.