‘Middle-class coke heads’ who take drugs at football matches face five-year ban

The rules, announced by policing minister Kit Malthouse, are part of a bid to tackle a rise in violence and disorder at matches.

Luke O'Reilly
Thursday 19 May 2022 15:32
Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse meets police officers in Peterborough (Joe Giddens/PA)
Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse meets police officers in Peterborough (Joe Giddens/PA)

“Middle-class coke heads” could face five-year football bans if convicted of selling or taking class A drugs at matches.

Anyone convicted could also be ordered to surrender their passports when their team is playing abroad, the Government said.

The rules, announced by policing minister Kit Malthouse at a drugs summit on Thursday, are part of a bid to tackle a rise in violence and disorder at matches.

Boris Johnson said the drug habits of recreational cocaine users are driving crime across the UK.

The Prime Minister said: “Middle-class coke heads should stop kidding themselves, their habit is feeding a war on our streets driving misery and crime across our country and beyond.

The football family wants every ground to be a safe space for fans, especially children, and so do we

Kit Malthouse, policing minister

“That’s why we are stepping up our efforts to make sure those who break the law face the full consequences – because taking illegal drugs is never a victimless crime.”

The move is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council amid concerns that drug abuse is fuelling the rise in violence and disorder at matches.

Mr Malthouse said some football games have seen “ugly violence” that has “shocked all the leagues”, adding: “More and more the police are finding class A drugs at the heart of that disorder and so we must act.

“The football family wants every ground to be a safe space for fans, especially children, and so do we.

“Football banning orders have been a game-changer in rooting out racism and violence at football, and now we want them to do the same for drug-related disorder”, he said.

“The Government is determined to drive down drug use and bring home to all who take them that drugs bring consequences.”

Asked by the PA news agency at the event in central London if forces will have the resources needed to adopt the bans and police matches properly, Mr Malthouse said: “Oh yes they do. The police asked for this.

“Mark Roberts, the chief constable of Cheshire, he specifically came with the football authorities and asked for this … because they’ve seen this rise in violence which the police have had to deal with and they believe that class A drugs are fuelling it. They asked for this addition to football banning laws.”

At the same time Mr Malthouse also announced £5million of investment to allow more drug testing on arrest.

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