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Football hate crime: CPS vows to use new banning orders

|News, Hate crime

The CPS today vows to use football banning orders to those convicted of online hate crime connected to the game and prevent them from attending matches.

The new orders allow the CPS to ask the courts for tougher penalties for so-called fans intent on hateful conduct.

The CPS has recently spearheaded a campaign to ensure that football spectators are aware of the consequences of the disgusting behaviour by a minority of fans.

The new legal provisions will allow banning orders to be made for abuse involving racial or other hateful hostility which occurs online.

Previously football banning orders could only apply to in-person offences.

The additional provisions will provide prosecutors with the means to invite the courts to provide tougher sentences for hate crime alongside their asking for a sentence uplift because of the aggravated nature of a hate crime.

Our legal guidance further instructs prosecutors to ask the court for banning orders in all instances where they are available, unless a court considers that there are particular circumstances relating to the offence or to the offender which would make it unjust in all the circumstances to do so.

Douglas Mackay, of the CPS, said: “Football banning orders are one of the many tools available to the justice system for imposition on offenders who are convicted of crimes related to our national game.

“This new CPS legal guidance gives prosecutors wider authority to request banning orders from the courts. It is another consequence for those guilty of shameful behaviour.

“Over recent years and months hate crimes relating to sporting events have been on the rise. The recent internal UK Football Policing Unit mid-season report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch. There is no place for hate in football. Hate crime can have a profound impact on victims.”

The CPS is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations like the Premier League, the English Football League, and the Football Association to explain how these crimes are prosecuted and what information is needed to pass the charging threshold and build strong cases.

Notes to editors

Read the updated CPS legal guidance on football banning orders
Douglas Mackay, is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands and CPS sports lead prosecutor

Further reading

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