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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 keeping football safe and inclusive to play and watch.

The NPCC and CPS will deal robustly with football-related violence, disorder and other offending, including racist, homophobic, otherwise discriminatory chanting or abuse and other types of hate crime. Where criminal conduct is demonstrated we will also take action against so called “tragedy chanting”

The NPCC and 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.

Prosecutors will apply the Code for Crown Prosecutors to alleged football related criminality. A prosecution will usually take place where there is sufficient evidence of football related offending, unless there are public interest factors tending against and which outweigh those in favour. In some cases, particularly involving young people, education and diversionary intervention may be the most appropriate action. Guidance will be provided to football related organisations to promote early consideration of when diversionary activity may be more appropriate than a prosecution.

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 remind the courts that when an offender is convicted of a relevant offence, the court must make a FBO unless the court considers that there are particular circumstances relating to the offence or the offender which would make it unjust to do so.  Relevant offences do not relate solely to violent behaviour at matches, they include for example, ticket touting, and engaging 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 EURO 2024 tournament in Germany or the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be prevented from travelling to support their team. FBOs have a minimum duration of three years, and so this will apply to any person made subject to a FBO during the 2023-4 domestic season.

The NPCC and the CPS work closely together to tackle football-related offending and will be alert to, and 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, as well as with colleagues in Scotland and Northern Ireland to provide consistency across all jurisdictions in the United Kingdom and abroad.

April 2024





Douglas Mackay
Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (West Midlands) - CPS lead prosecutor for criminality in sport





Mark Roberts QPM
Chief Constable (Cheshire) - NPCC lead Football Policing

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