New crackdown on football hooligans

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Published: Tuesday 26th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Police are tightening controls on football hooligans ahead of England’s match in Ireland next month after a “deterioration” in the behaviour of some fans following Roy Hodgson’s team.

In addition to handing over their passports, individuals who are subject to football banning orders will have to attend a police station on match day – the first time this measure has been deployed for four years.

Efforts to make sure troublemakers are kept away from the match in Dublin on June 7 are being stepped up after a spike in disruptive conduct was observed at England’s last four away matches.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on Football Policing, said: ” It has been a point of pride in recent years that England fans’ behaviour has completely moved on from the dark days of the 1980s. We have been able to tell overseas police colleagues that they will not encounter the sort of problems that used to be associated with England fans.

“While the majority of fans continue to behave themselves, in the last four England away fixtures we have seen a significant amount of drunken anti-social behaviour, unpleasant chanting aimed at provoking home supporters and a small number of people who seem to take every opportunity to create distress for others.

“Regrettably that means we have to increase our enforcement activity using tactics that proved successful in addressing these problems in the past.

“Given the deterioration in fan behaviour and the proximity of Dublin, I have reintroduced the requirement to sign on at a police station as well as to surrender passports. We will be running a national operation to round up those who fail to comply before and immediately after the fixture.”

He added that, “to make triply sure of compliance”, all official England Supporters Travelling Club members will be required to collect their tickets in Dublin with photo ID

A total of 1,875 individuals are affected by banning orders ahead of the match in the Irish capital on June 7, including 1,382 who possess passports.

They must surrender their travel documents to police on June 2 or 3, and report to a nominated police station between 10am and 1pm on the day of the match.

Mr Roberts said: “I am in regular contact with the FA and other partners in the football community and, while there is no specific intelligence as yet to suggest planned disorder there is sufficient concern to take proactive action to ensure that fans are clear that bad behaviour is not acceptable and will face serious sanctions.

“Football policing ‘spotters’ from England will also be present in Dublin and the Aviva stadium to gather evidence of any bad behaviour and ensure anyone who offends faces the consequences of their actions.

“We are working closely with An Garda Síochana to support their operation.”

The 1995 match in Dublin between the two countries had to be abandoned when violence erupted in the stands where England fans were watching the game.

Published: Tuesday 26th May 2015 by The News Editor

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