Those issued with Football Banning Orders should surrender their passports or face a prosecution, warns football lead top prosecutor


The Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wessex and CPS lead in sports and football matters, Nick Hawkins, has today warned that anyone subject to a Football Banning Order who fails to surrender their passport, whether or not they attempt to travel to Poland or Ukraine before and during the Euro 2012 competition, will be arrested and prosecuted

Mr Hawkins said:  "Any sporting event should be a moment of celebration and not an opportunist moment of violence. It is clear that a number of England and Wales residents will travel to Poland and Ukraine before and after 8 June to watch the Euro 2012 games. Some others may stay at home or watch the games at their local pub and we know that unfortunately violence during sports tournaments can happen.

"Anyone subject to a Football Banning Order (FBO) who fails to surrender their passport whether or not they attempt to travel to Poland or Ukraine is likely to be arrested and prosecuted. There are approximately 3,000 FBOs in place and to enforce them the Home Office will initiate a "Control Period" from today (29 May).  This means that all individuals subject to a ban will receive a letter telling them to report to a designated police station to surrender their passport.  Unlike previous tournaments those banned will not have to report on match days as surrender of their passport is now deemed sufficient."

The CPS has football prosecutors in each of its 13 Areas who work very closely with local Police Commanders, Football Intelligence Officers and the UK Football Policing Unit. When dealing with these types of offences, prosecutors apply the prosecution guidance on Football Related Offences in addition to the Code for Crown Prosecutors. All prosecutors have been advised that any football related offences should be treated expeditiously in order to put any offenders before a court as quickly as possible.

Mr Hawkins said: "Any English or Welsh supporters who commit offences in the Ukraine may be repatriated by the authorities. The UK Police Delegation in Ukraine will notify police forces and CPS Areas in England and Wales of any repatriation specifying the airport to which they will return. Wherever possible, a package containing a file of evidence of any offences will be sent to the UK in advance of the arrival of the offender, so that consideration can be given to an immediate application for a FBO.  In any event, anyone offending in Poland or the Ukraine may face an application for a Football Banning Order on their return, once the evidence has been considered.

"The CPS has built a good reputation for dealing effectively with offences around sporting tournaments over a number of years we are well prepared for Euro 2012 and should be able to cope with any incidents arising."