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CPS updates its policy to tackle robustly Football Hooliganism

13/08/2009

Anyone receiving a Football Banning Order this season will not be able to actively support England and Wales if they qualify for the World Cup finals in South Africa next year, said Nick Hawkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the CPS lead on football matters.

The Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in collaboration with the Home Office, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association are committed to operating a robust prosecution policy for Football Related Offences during the next season and beyond.

Mr Hawkins said: "As well as tackling violence, disorder and criminal damage, we will deal seriously with offences of racist, indecent chanting and other types of hate crime and will apply for a Football Banning Order for those guilty of ticket touting.

"Members of the community whose homes and businesses are close to football grounds, and well-behaved fans, have the right not to have their lives disrupted by football hooliganism."

The Prosecution Policy on Football Related Offences signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, and Andrew Holt, Assistant Chief Constable and ACPO lead on football matters, has been so far widely recognised by other jurisdictions as the most effective in this field.

Each CPS area has a lead football prosecutor dealing with Premiership and Football League Clubs who works closely with their police counterparts to tackle football related violence and hooliganism. This effective system was praised by the South African Assistant Commissioner Ben Groenewald who said when he attended the first CPS football Conference in April, that he would be interested in implementing the same scheme for the South African World Cup in 2010.

Andy Holt, Assistant Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and ACPO lead on football matters said:

"Hooliganism is much less of a problem than in the past. Football Banning Orders have been very successful, with less than 10 per cent of those who are issued with banning orders re-offending.

"There are however a small minority of people who engage in football related violence and disorder, causing a risk to the safety of the vast majority of law abiding football supporters. ACPO and police forces have been working closely with the CPS to tackle football related violence and hooliganism and to identify such individuals and bring them to justice. This is particularly important in the run up to the World Cup next year."

Ends

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