Football Related Offences: National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Crown Prosecution Service Prosecution Policy
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are committed to dealing robustly with football-related violence, disorder and other offending, including racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory chanting and abuse and other types of hate crime.
The NPCC and the CPS recognise that:
- football supporters have the right to attend matches free from the fear of violence, disorder, abuse and other crime, and the substantial majority of supporters do not engage in such behaviour;
- those whose homes are close to football grounds have the right not to have their lives disrupted by such behaviour;
- those who work in and around football grounds and those who provide transport services for supporters have the right to carry out their work without the fear of such behaviour; and,
- those who are professionally involved in football, whether as team members, pitchside staff, officials, club officers or journalists, have the right not to be subject to such behaviour, including abuse online or otherwise away from football matches.
- The NPCC and CPS will seek to protect these rights, including through the application of this policy.
There is a presumption in favour of prosecution whenever there is sufficient evidence of football- related offending. Football Banning Orders (FBOs) are a key part of tackling football-related offending, and can have a powerful deterrent effect on those who may engage in such offending. Accordingly, prosecutors will apply for a FBO whenever available unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so. This is not limited to offences such as violence at matches, but will also apply, for example, to ticket touts and those who engage in online discriminatory abuse of players and others professionally involved in football.
Any person subject to a FBO may be required to surrender their passport before overseas matches and tournaments, and any person subject to a FBO at the time of the Qatar 2022 World Cup or the Germany 2024 UEFA Euro (including qualifying matches) will be prevented from travelling to support England or Wales. Because FBOs have a minimum duration of three years, this will apply to any person subject to a FBO during the 2022-3 domestic season.
The NPCC and the CPS work closely together to tackle football-related offending and the NPCC and the CPS will be alert to, and will work together to respond to, emerging challenges associated with football-related offending. The NPCC and the CPS will also continue to work with the Home Office and other government departments to combat football-related offending at home and abroad, as well as with colleagues in Scotland and Northern Ireland to provide consistency across all three jurisdictions in the United Kingdom.
23 September 2022