Football Related Offences and Football Banning Orders
- General principles
- Football-Related Offences
- Football Banning Orders
- Football Banning Orders on Complaint – section 14B Football Spectators Act 1989
- Football Banning Orders on Conviction – section 14A Football Spectators Act 1989
- Relevant Offences
- Violence and Disorder
- Regulated Football Matches
- Length – section 14F Football Spectators Act 1989
- Effects of Football Banning Orders
- Liaison with the Court
- Liaison with the Police
- Annex A: File content
- Annex B: Checklists for advocates
The CPS and Police are committed to taking a robust stance towards tackling football-related disorder, hooliganism and hate crime.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and CPS operate a Prosecution Policy for Football Related Offences, available here.
The CPS also has an agreement with the National Police Lead for football on behalf of the NPCC, the Football Association (FA) and the Football Association of Wales (FAW) about the handling of incidents falling under both criminal and football regulatory jurisdiction. The agreement may be accessed here.
Each police force will have one or more Dedicated Football Officers (formerly Football Intelligence Officers). CPS Areas should nominate a lead prosecutor to liaise with the FIOs in relation to football related offending. Where an Area contains a number of clubs, it may be wise to have a point of contact for each club. The United Kingdom Football Policing Unit maintains and can provide a list of Dedicated Football Officers. See below, under ‘Liaison with the Police’, for further details.
The CPS position is that for offences which are prima facie football related, there will be a strong presumption in favour of prosecution where the evidential test is passed. See below for further details on the application of the public interest test.
Most offences that are football-related will be covered by legislation that prosecutors are already familiar with, such as offences under the Offences against the Person Act 1861 and offences under the Public Order Act 1986.
Where there is evidence that the offending is racially or religiously aggravated, the specific racially/religiously aggravated offences contained in sections 29-32 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 should be charged. In cases where these specific offences do not cover the criminality, then other more general criminal offences should be charged but the prosecutor should seek a sentence uplift under section 66 of the Sentencing Act 2020 to reflect the element of racial/religious aggravation. Where the offences demonstrate hostility towards or are motivated by a person's sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity, this should be outlined to the court and a sentence uplift sought under the provisions of section 66 of the Sentencing Act 2020. See the Hate Crime prosecution guidance, found at links available here, for further details.
There are a number of offences that are specific to football matches (and sometimes other events). They are summary only.
- Throwing of missiles onto the playing area or into the crowd - s.2
- Racialist or indecent chanting at a football match - s.3
- Going onto the playing area - s.4
Maximum sentence: fine not exceeding level 3.
- Unauthorised persons ("ticket touts") selling or otherwise disposing of a ticket to a designated football match - s.166
Maximum sentence: fine not exceeding level 5.
- Carrying alcohol in vehicles on route to designated sporting events - ss.1 and 1A
- Possession of alcohol at or upon entering a designated sporting event - s.2(1)
- Being drunk at a designated sporting event - s.2(2)
- Having a flare or firework etc. at any time during the period of a designated sporting event when in any area of a designated sports ground from which the event may be directly viewed, or while entering or trying to enter a designated sports ground at any time during the period of a designated sporting event at the ground – s.2A.
Maximum sentence: fines; see section 8 of the 1985 Act for details.
Prosecutors should select charges that adequately reflect the nature and seriousness of the offending and give the court adequate sentencing powers.
Prosecutors should note that:
- Where there is sufficient evidence, it would normally be preferable to charge one of the offences under more general legislation (the football-specific offences referred to above are summary only and non-imprisonable, thereby limiting the court's sentencing powers).
Football-related offending causes direct harm to law abiding supporters, those who work in football grounds and the communities surrounding football grounds. It has an indirect but no less serious impact on the reputation of English and Welsh football at home and overseas. Prosecutors should note the contents of the NPCC and CPS Prosecution Policy for Football Related Offences.
In the highly unlikely event that a prosecution does not proceed on public interest grounds, prosecutors must discuss their decision with the police at the appropriate level (including the Dedicated Football Officer, where appropriate). Prosecutors must ensure that the file contains a detailed review showing that there are clear and appropriate grounds for not proceeding with the football-related matter(s).
Simple Cautions or Penalty Notices for Disorder will rarely be appropriate for football-related offences.
Conditional cautions may be available where the suspected offence is not a hate crime. Conditional cautions should be reserved for minor offences committed by persons who have no previous record of football-related, public order, assault or criminal damage offences. "Previous record" is not confined to previous convictions, but can include penalty notices for disorder, stop checks and intelligence that indicates that action is needed to prevent football-related violence and disorder.
FBOs on conviction cannot be obtained if there is an out-of-court disposal. Where, however, an offender fails to comply with a conditional caution received for a football-related offence, an application for a FBO can be made if the original offence is prosecuted. The fact that a conditional caution was imposed could also be used as evidence to support a civil application for an order. Where a person is suspected of an offence for which a FBO is available and it appears that the test for making a FBO on conviction will be satisfied, a conditional caution would not be appropriate.
Prosecutors should also have regard to the Director's Guidance on Adult Conditional Cautioning in deciding whether such a disposal is appropriate.
Suitable conditions to be included in a conditional caution may include:
Conditional cautions may also be appropriate for anti-social behaviour in and around football matches that could not be properly classified as football-related.
Whenever a conditional caution is under consideration for a football related offence, the prosecutor must ensure that the Dedicated Football Officer is consulted before a final decision is made. This consultation should be recorded in the prosecutors review to the effect that the offender is not considered a "risk supporter".
Football-related offences are not subject to any pilot initiatives around the use of a range of "Out of Court Disposals".
Where appropriate, consideration should be given to diversion by way of a Youth Caution. If the offending cannot be satisfactorily addressed by a Youth Caution, then consideration should be given to a Youth Conditional Caution. For further information, prosecutors should consider the separate legal guidance on Youth Offenders and the Director's Guidance on Youth Conditional Cautions.
There is a potential conflict between the duty to remit young offenders to the youth court for sentence (under section of the 25 Sentencing Act 2020) and the requirement that any application for a post-conviction FBO be dealt with by the court by or before which the offender is convicted unless committed to the Crown Court for sentence (Football Spectators Act 1989 s.14A(6)). This conflict has resulted in youths convicted of football-related offences being remitted to their local youth court and subsequent applications for FBOs being rejected.
To avoid this conflict, it is recommended that youths being released on bail should normally be bailed to their local court, even when the offence charged was committed away from where they live. Where, however, the case is likely to be contested and there are potentially a number of civilian witnesses, then it may be necessary to bail the youth to the court for the area in which the offence was allegedly committed. After conviction, it will be necessary for the prosecutor to make representations that it would be undesirable to remit the case to the youth’s local youth court, as it would deprive the prosecution of the ability to apply for a banning order (citing section 25(2) of the Sentencing Act 2020 where the convicting court is the Crown Court).
Careful consideration should be given before a youth is jointly charged with an adult, to avoid the potential problems dealt with above. In relevant cases, such as those involving large-scale disorder, it is good practice for youths to be charged to their local court and adults to be charged to the court for the area where the offence was allegedly committed.
Annex A and Annex B contain checklists of matters which prosecutors should consider when making an application for a FBO.
Football Banning Orders on Complaint – section 14B Football Spectators Act 1989
Prosecutors can apply for a civil FBO on complaint. If there is insufficient evidence to prosecute a football-related offence or the defendant is acquitted, it may still be possible to apply for an order under section 14B. Prosecutors should discuss this with the police to establish whether there is enough evidence to support the complaint. It may also be appropriate to apply for a FBO on complaint as a result of a person’s conduct abroad, such as during an overseas tournament. If a person has been deported from another country in circumstances which justify the making of a FBO, it may be necessary to act quickly to have a court consider the application, or at least impose bail conditions (see below), before that person goes abroad again eg. for the rest of the tournament.
The application should be made to a magistrates’ court (s14B(3)). The relevant procedure is found in Part II of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980. The court must make an order if satisfied that the respondent has at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the UK or elsewhere and that there are reasonable grounds to believe that it would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches (s.14B(2) and (4)). See below, under “Violence and Disorder” and “Regulated Football Matches”, for further details on these terms.
A court may remand a respondent if the proceedings are adjourned (s.14B(5)), in which case the court may impose bail conditions requiring the respondent not to leave England and Wales and/or (in certain circumstances) to surrender their passport (s.14B(6)).
The courts are given a wide discretion as to what they can take into account in deciding whether to make an order under s.14B. This can include decisions of foreign courts, evidence of deportation from another country, removal from football matches wherever this occurred, and visually recorded evidence such as CCTV (s14C(4)).
However, this is subject to two restrictions:
An appeal against a refusal to make a FBO on complaint should be made to the Crown Court (s14D). The relevant procedure is found in Part III of the Crown Court Rules 1982, and prosecutors should note the time limit therein.
Football Banning Orders on Complaint – section 14A Football Spectators Act 1989
- Most of the offences that are likely to be charged are relevant offences for the purposes of obtaining a Football Banning Order (FBO). The list in Schedule 1 to the 1989 Act should be checked before proceeding to ensure that the court is not deprived of the ability to impose a FBO on conviction (see below, under “Football Banning Orders on Conviction”).
- Not to attend any regulated football match or a particular football ground, with the additional condition to report to a particular police station at kick off times. The period should never exceed 3 months and should be for as short a period as is necessary and proportionate in relation to the offence and the offender; for example, for a minor infraction a period of a month may be appropriate.
- Not to approach an individual or go to a particular location; for example, a public house close to a football club.
- The court may not take into account any conduct of the respondent more than ten years before the application was made, apart from circumstances ancillary to a conviction (s14C(5)(a)); and
- Before taking into account any conviction for a relevant offence, the court must consider the reasons given by the sentencing court for not imposing a FBO on conviction, if applicable (s14C(5)(b)).
- Where a person is convicted of a “relevant offence”, the court must impose a FBO in addition to any sentence for the offence if it is “satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that making a banning order would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches” (s.14A(1) and (2)). See below, under “Relevant offences”, “Violence and Disorder” and “Regulated Football Matches” for further details of these terms. In respect of offences committed on or after 29 June 2022, section 192 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 amends this test such that where a person is convicted of a relevant offence, the court must impose a FBO unless it “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”. The relevant procedure is found in Part 31 of the Criminal Procedure Rules. Prosecutors must apply for a FBO whenever a person is convicted of a relevant offence unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so. For most supporters it is the thought of receiving a FBO that they fear most and, as such, its deterrent effect cannot be underestimated. In deciding whether to make a FBO, the court may consider evidence from both prosecution and defence, and may consider evidence whether or not it would have been admissible in the proceedings in which the offender was convicted (s.14A(3A) and (3B)). If a court decides not to make a FBO where a person is convicted of a relevant offence, it must give its reasons in open court (s.14A(3)). The prosecution may appeal against a refusal to make a FBO to the Crown Court or the Court of Appeal, as appropriate (s14A(5A). An appeal to the Court of Appeal can only be lodged if the Court of Appeal gives permission or if the judge who decided not to make an order grants a certificate that the decision is fit for an appeal (s.14(5B)). Where it is considered that good grounds exist for making a FBO and the court has refused to do so, a full file note should be kept of the reasons given and urgent consideration given to lodging an appeal. It is advisable that the prosecutor seek advice from the Area Football Lead Prosecutor before lodging an appeal. The relevant procedure for appeals to the Crown Court is contained in Part 34 of the Criminal Procedure Rules, and the relevant procedure for appeals to the Court of Appeal is contained in Part 39 of the Criminal Procedure Rules. Prosecutors should note the respective time limits for serving a notice of appeal in those Parts. Prosecutors should notify the Football Banning Orders Authority (part of the UK Football Policing Unit) by e-mail (FBOA@fpu.pnn.police.uk) where a FBO is granted or refused.
Section 14(8) provides that a “relevant offence” is one listed in Schedule 1 to the 1989 Act. For some of the offences listed in that schedule a FBO will always be available, or will always be available if they are committed in certain circumstances, such as at a particular place or during a period which is “relevant to” a match (that period being defined in paragraph 4 of Schedule 1). For other of the offences listed in Schedule 1 a FBO will only be available if the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches or to one or more particular football matches (which must be regulated football matches, see below under “Regulated Football Matches”). This is known as a “declaration of relevance” (s23(5)).
Most football-related disorder takes place away from football grounds, often affecting local public houses and railway and bus stations. Organised disorder can involve rival groups of supporters meeting some distance from the ground. The fact that offending takes place away from the ground does not mean that the offending is not related to football matches or to a particular match, and does not mean that an order should not be sought.
In respect of offences committed on or after on or after 29 June 2022, section 190 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 amends Schedule 1 such that a declaration of relevance will also be available for certain offences which relate to a football organisation or a person whom the defendant knew or believed to have a prescribed connection with a football organisation, as well as which relate to regulated football matches or to one or more particular regulated football matches. “Football organisation” is defined as an organisation (in the UK or elsewhere) relating to football which is a prescribed organisation or is an organisation of a prescribed description. The offences covered by section 190 are:
- offences under Part 3 or 3A of the Public Order Act 1986 (relating to hatred on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation) not otherwise covered by Schedule 1;
- offences under section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (racially or religiously aggravated public order offences);
- offences under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 (sending a letter, electronic communication or article with intent to cause distress or anxiety) or section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003 (improper use of public telecommunications network) not otherwise covered by Schedule 1, where the court has stated that the offence is aggravated by hostility of any of the types mentioned in section 66(1) of the Sentencing Code.
Article 5 of the Football Spectators (Prescription) Order 2022 (in force from 1 July 2022) provides that a person has a prescribed connection with a football organisation where:
- they are a player, manager, coach, physiotherapist or other member of the matchday pitchside staff of a relevant team, or were such at any time in the 6 months before the date of the offence;
- they are a referee, assistant referee, video assistant referee, assistant video referee, reserve official, fourth official, or other match official, who officiates a regulated football match involving a relevant team, or were such at any time in the 6 months before the offence;
- they are an officer of a club which is a regulated football organisation, or were such at any time in the 6 months before the offence; or
- they are a journalist or other broadcast staff covering a regulated football match involving a relevant team or otherwise reporting or commentating on a relevant team or player of such team, or were such at any time in the 14 days before the offence.
A ‘relevant team’ is a team representing a club which is a regulated football organisation, or
a national team which is a regulated football organisation. For further details of ‘manager’, ‘officer’ and ‘player’, see paragraph 3 of article 5.
A ‘regulated football organisation’ is defined in article 4 of the 2022 Order as:
- the Football Association Limited, the Football Association Premier League Limited, the Football League Limited, the Football Conference Limited, or the Football Association of Wales Limited;
- a club which is a full or associate member of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Association Women's Super League, the Football Association Women's Championship, the Football Conference, or the Cymru Premier League; or
- a national team appointed by the Football Association to represent England or appointed by the Football Association of Wales to represent Wales.
Section 23 contains procedural provisions regarding declarations of relevance. Section 23(1) provides that a court can only make a declaration of relevance if satisfied that the prosecutor has served a notice on the defendant at least five days before the first day of the trial indicating that the prosecution propose to show that the offence was a relevant offence. The court can waive the requirement for full notice to be given if satisfied it is in the interests of justice or if the defendant consents (s23(2)). It is important to ask the court to waive the requirements if an offender appears in custody and is dealt with at the first hearing. Prosecutors should agree with the police that a notice will be served on the defendant at the time of charge, and provision made for proving service so as to satisfy the court. It is likely that the court will require a copy of the notice. A person may appeal against a declaration of relevance as if it were part of the sentence (s23(3)).
Section 14C contains supplementary provisions on what constitutes “violence” and “disorder” for the purposes of sections 14A and s.14B.
"Violence" means violence against persons or property and includes threatening violence and doing anything which endangers the life of any person (s14C(1)).
“Disorder” includes (s14C(2)):
- stirring up hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins, or against an individual as a member of such a group,
- using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour,
- displaying any writing or other thing which is threatening, abusive or insulting.
The terms "violence" and "disorder" are not limited to violence or disorder in connection with football (s14C(3)).
The definition of a regulated football match is set out in article 3 of the Football Spectators (Prescription) Order 2022 (in force from 1 July 2022; this Order repeals and replaces the Football Spectators (Prescription) Order 2004, and any relevant changes are noted below). A regulated football match is:
Whether the application is made under section 14A or section 14B, it is important to call evidence to show the court why the FBO is needed. In section 14A applications the facts of the offence before the court may be sufficient to prove the necessity of an order, but prosecutors should always consider calling additional evidence to establish the defendant’s history of violence or disorder associated with football. The guidance below was prepared in respect of the test for making an order prior to its amendment by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 (see above, under “Football Banning Orders on Conviction”), and the caselaw referred to predates that amendment. However, even under the amended test the granting of orders under section 14A should not be taken for granted, and prosecutors should be prepared to refute any suggestion that it would be unjust to impose an order; the guidance below may assist with this.
In all cases the prosecutor should ensure that the Court is made aware of the impact of violence and disorder at and around football matches. What might appear to be an isolated incident by a person of good character (e.g. running on the pitch) could be the trigger for more widespread disorder. The Dedicated Football Officer preparing the evidence in support of the application should provide a statement setting out the necessity for the order to include the level of football-related disorder to which the defendant / respondent is contributing and its impact in the area concerned.
In R v Hughes  EWCA Crim 2537, it was held that the mere fact that the defendant was convicted of a relevant offence at a regulated football match would usually be sufficient to satisfy a court that an order might prevent such violence or disorder in the future. This was followed in R (White) v Blackfriars Crown Court  EWHC Admin 510, where it was held that the court was entitled to take into account and to give great weight to deterrence. Prosecutors should also note R v Curtis  EWCA Crim 1225, which concerns the making of an order against a first time offender involved in large scale disturbances.
However, prosecutors should not overlook the case of R v Doyle (Ciaran) and Others  EWCA Crim 995 where it was held that, whilst it is possible for an isolated offence to meet the requirements for making an order, a FBO will not inevitably follow every conviction for a relevant offence, and the requirement for reasonable grounds for believing that an order might prevent further violence or disorder contemplated a risk of repetition of the violence or disorder. Prosecutors should also note that deterrence is only a factor to be borne in mind in determining the application; it is not a decisive factor, so an order will not inevitably follow from a conviction for a football related offence for reasons of general deterrence (R v Boggild and Others  EWCA Crim 1928).
Where a declaration of relevance is required, prosecutors should ensure that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the offence related to a football match or to one or more particular football matches or to a football organisation or a person whom the defendant knew or believed to have a prescribed connection with a football organisation, as applicable. In respect of matches, prosecutors should not feel limited to incidents arising at or near the ground. The courts have stated that it is a matter of judgment whether any of the offences are related to football matches (see R v Doyle (Ciaran) and Others  EWCA Crim 995) and it is possible for the alleged behaviour to include incidents some considerable distance away from the ground and where the offender is not a supporter of either team playing. FBOs have successfully been sought for offences over two miles from the ground and five hours after the end of the game, as well as for offences on the national rail network some distance from the game. The court may conduct a hearing analogous to a Newton Hearing to determine the question of relevance. Prosecutors should be properly prepared for such hearings. Evidence in support of conduct being football-related may include match/season tickets, programmes, fanzines, football related paraphernalia (i.e. pin badges, 'calling cards', tattoos showing team / group allegiances) and ideally a photograph of the person wearing team colours. The use of CCTV evidence may be very persuasive. Prosecutors should view CCTV material, with the intention of minimising the number of police officers attending court to give evidence.
When made following conviction under s.14A, a FBO may be for up to 10 years if immediate imprisonment is imposed and must be for at least 6 years. If no immediate imprisonment is ordered, the maximum is 5 years and the minimum is 3 years.
If made under the section 14B, the maximum period of the order is 5 years and the minimum is 3 years.
Once a FBO has been in effect for at least two-thirds of its set period, the person subject to the order may apply to the court by which it was made to terminate it, and the court may terminate the order as from a specified date or refuse the application (s14H).
Upon notification of an application to terminate an order, prosecutors should inform their local Football Intelligence Officer and the Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA@fpu.pnn.police.uk), and seek the views of the police and request any material that might have a bearing on the application, such as details of the applicant’s conduct since the order was imposed.
In respect of regulated football matches in the UK, a FBO prohibits the person who is subject to the order from entering any premises for the purpose of attending such matches (s14(4)(a)). Note that it is not possible to make an order limited to particular matches or particular teams (R v Doyle (Ciaran) and Others  EWCA Crim 995).
In respect of football matches outside the UK:
Notices issued by the enforcing authority may only require a person to report to a police station and surrender their passport during a control period in relation to a match outside the UK or an external tournament (s19(2E)(a) and (b)), and passports must be returned as soon as practicable after the end of that period (s19(2F)). Control periods are defined as the period beginning five days before the match outside the UK or the first match outside the UK of the tournament and ending when the match outside the UK or the last match outside the UK of the tournament is finished or cancelled (s14(4) and (5)). The notice must also require the person to notify the enforcing authority within a specified time of each address at which they will be staying during the control period (s19(2E)(c)).
Section 14G(1) provides that FBOs may include additional requirements. FBOs can be made more effective by the use of schedules containing additional restrictions, such as a restricted zone around a ground for a period of two hours before to two hours after a match, or a prohibition on using the national rail network without the prior approval of the British Transport Police. Other restrictions may be imposed. The police, especially the Dedicated Football Officer, may have views on what may be effective restrictions on particular individuals. These additional requirements may by varied on application by either the person made subject to the order or the person who originally applied for the order (s14G(2)).
Where a FBO has additional requirements, in the case of any regulated football match the Football Banning Orders Authority may by notice require any person subject to a banning order to comply with the additional requirements in the manner specified in the notice (s19(2C)).
A person subject to a FBO may apply to the Football Banning Orders Authority for exceptions to any requirements of the order (s20).
Under section 35 of the Public Order Act 1986, the court may, on application by the prosecutor, order a person on whom a FBO has been made to attend a specified police station at a specified time within seven days to have a photograph taken. If the person fails to comply, they may be arrested without a warrant in order for the photograph to be taken.
A person subject to a banning order who fails to comply with any requirement of the order or any requirement under a notice issued by the Football Banning Order Authority under s19(2B) or (2C) commits a summary-only offence punishable by imprisonment for up to six months (s14J).
Where there is a major operation, this may cause considerable pressure on short term court listing. CPS Areas will need to liaise with the relevant court for an agreed strategy to deal with large number of offenders in custody and on bail. Additional security may be required to safeguard the court and officials.
All Areas should have at least one nominated lead football prosecutor. Best practice is for there to be one nominated prosecutor attached to each Premier League and Football League Club, with one lead as overall coordinator for the Area, although it is accepted that this may not always be practicable. Each lead and nominated prosecutor should develop a close working liaison with the Dedicated Football Officer for the force or club for which they are responsible. A list of lead prosecutors will be maintained by the CPS National Lead for sports related offences and will be shared with the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit.
Success in improving outcomes will depend on close working with the police at a senior level. It has proved to be highly beneficial for the Chief Crown Prosecutor or another senior lawyer to liaise with a relevant senior police officer.
For specific events, where trouble is anticipated or agreed enforcement action is to take place, it is best practice to have a charging lawyer on duty who will deal with the early advice and charging, have case ownership, and deal with any subsequent advocacy.
Enforcement action in connection with football matches will be of interest to the media. A good media strategy will boost public confidence in local criminal justice agencies. Prosecutors should discuss the media strategy with the Area Communication Managers and CPS Press Office.
- Notice of intention to seek a declaration of relevance - ON CONVICTION APPLICATIONS ONLY
This should be served on the Defendant at the point of charge and a copy placed with the file along with the following documentation
- Form of Application
- Draft Order
- Further copy of case summary in relation to relevant offence - ON CONVICTION APPLICATIONS ONLY
- Statement(s) from police officer (OIC/Dedicated Football Officers)
- Details of relevant previous convictions
- Details of relevant other conduct
- Video evidence and other exhibits referred to and attached
- Why the officer feels there will be further violence and disorder at matches, if not banned
- Reasons why the prohibitions in the draft order are being sought
- (Optional) Statement in support from football club explaining why it feels that an order is necessary
- Check file content
See File Checklist (at Annex A)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Points 2-6 below relate ONLY to applications for Football Banning Orders on Conviction
- Has the accused been convicted?
If no, then no further action in respect of an application on conviction, but prosecutors should consider making an application on complaint for a civil FBO, and should discuss this with the police.
- Identify facts, previous convictions, costs etc.
The order can be imposed ancillary to any disposal EXCEPT an absolute discharge
- Is it a football related offence (see Schedule 1 to the 1989 Act)?
If no, then no further action
- Is a declaration of relevance required?
If no, proceed to point 7
- Has notice been served?
If Yes: proceed to point 7
If No: The accused can either consent to notice being waived or the court can waive notice, if it is in the interests of justice to do so. This might apply if it was obvious that such an order was going to be applied for, or if the file shows that the accused or his advocate was informed of the application earlier in the proceedings. Further, if the accused appears in custody and is dealt with at the first hearing, then a request can be made for the notice to be waived.
If there is a dispute as to whether the offence is football related, then the court will need to hold a hearing analogous to a Newton hearing.
- Submit the application, draft order and supporting statement(s) and make application
It will be necessary to show that the evidence establishes that:
- On conviction: the suspect has been convicted of a football-related offence
Civil application: the suspect has at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the UK or elsewhere - not just at football grounds
- On conviction: the court can be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the making of an order would help to prevent violence and disorder at or in connection with any regulated football match. In respect of offences committed on or after on or after 29 June 2022, the court must impose a FBO unless it "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" (see above, under "Football Banning Orders on Conviction"); however, the prosecutor must still be prepared to refute any suggestion that making the order would be unjust.
Civil application: the court can be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the making of an order would help to prevent violence and disorder at or in connection with any regulated football match.
Prosecutors can prove this by reference to the nature of this offence and previous conduct, whether that forms a pattern of behaviour, the risk to others from such conduct and evidence of the defendant's future intentions (if available).
These are civil applications that require proof to the criminal standard.
- Court makes or refuses order
Court must state its reasons in detail whatever its decision and if the order is made, the court must explain its terms in ordinary language.