World Cup ban threat in 'zero tolerance' crackdown

Instead of being issued with cautions or fixed penalty notices for crimes such as breaking windows or using threatening behaviour, the zero tolerance approach will see misbehaving fans taken to court and given football banning orders.

The orders mean they have to surrender their passports when England are playing abroad, and cannot travel.

Nick Hawkins, a Chief Crown Prosecutor from Hampshire, who has led previous crackdowns on hooligans, said fixed penalty notices were "not appropriate" for dealing with the hooligan problem.

He said: "We know from intelligence that some of the hard-core element refer to these (fixed penalty notices) as pay-as-you-go hooliganism, so it's clearly not having the desired effect."

Police issue around 500 cautions and more than 50 fixed penalty notices for low level thuggery each season but the vast majority of those offenders will now get banning orders.

The current number of fans subject to orders is 3,067.

However, orders against around 600 hooligans are set to lapse before the World Cup Finals and there will be nothing to prevent them travelling to Germany.

In addition, 900 suspected troublemakers who are not subject to orders are being looked at by 29 special police teams across the country to see if they can be prosecuted for minor offences.

The Football Supporters Federation fears some genuine fans may be unfairly punished.

But Mr Hawkins said: "We are not talking about people celebrating and having a beer and singing, we are talking about people who do that and then decide to smash the bar up."

Chief Superintendent John Campbell, who has also been involved in hooligan crackdowns, said: "When people are given a caution or a fixed penalty in a police station they can't get a banning order because the police don't have the power to impose it."

The new policy will see a presumption that even the most minor of football-related crimes, whether in or away from a ground, will be prosecuted in court.

Cautions and fixed penalty notices will only be issued in exceptional cases and the new approach will apply across all 42 police forces in England and Wales after being agreed between the Crown Prosecution Service and senior police commanders.

Mr Hawkins said: "We are going to show football hooligans the red card.

"Hooligans hate and fear football banning orders, so the orders are a key weapon against them."

He said most hooliganism takes place away from football grounds, often around local pubs and railway or bus stations, and those offenders would be prosecuted.

David Blundell, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands, said: "We want to prevent the small minority of yobs from travelling to Germany. The England team, the England supporters and all the other nationalities that flock to Germany will be better off without them."

David Swift, Deputy Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, who leads anti-hooliganism efforts by the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "There are currently 900 individuals who are being targeted by 29 dedicated policing operations across the country.

"Those officers will be seeking direction from the Crown Prosecution Service on the evidence they have collected and the positive approach to prosecution should increase convictions and bans.

"Most importantly it will help reduce the likelihood of violence by the English in Germany."

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
Jonathan de Guzman of the Netherlands and Willian of Brazil compete for the ball
world cup 2014LIVE BLOG: Hosts Brazil take on the Netherlands in third-place play-off
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice