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Watching Football Is Not A Crime

Watching Football Is Not A Crime

Watching football is not a crime!

18th December 2008

Important message from the Football Supporters' Federation:

The Football Supporters` Federation is delighted to announce we have teamed up with the civil rights organisation Liberty to fight for the rights of football fans who have been unjustly detained under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act.

Our Watching football is not a crime! campaign will raise funds for supporters who have been unfairly targeted by this legislation, and allow us to take the case to judicial review with Liberty. We are hearing from more and more fans who have unfairly served with Section 27 orders - it could be you next.

In recent weeks we have written of the cases of Stoke City and Plymouth Argyle supporters who have been served with Section 27 orders, made to miss their team`s game, and taken back home under threat of arrest with no compensation for match tickets or travel.

Malcolm Clarke, chair of the FSF, said: "This legislation was clearly designed to allow the moving on of individuals or small groups misbehaving under the influence of alcohol. It was not designed to enable police to impose football banning orders at will across entire counties.

"Section 27 gives police instant power to walk all over the civil rights of supporters if they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. No evidence appears to be needed, and no crime needs to have been committed.

"I would encourage any supporter who has been an unjustified victim of Section 27 to get in touch with the FSF and make their voice heard. We are taking this very, very seriously."

In both cases police the cited 'intelligence` despite landlords from the pubs these supporters were in saying there had been no trouble, and very little in the way of singing, never mind violence.

Anna Fairclough, legal officer for Liberty said: "This is a football-loving country and it`s not only wrong, but also seriously counter-productive to treat all fans as hooligans. Liberty is proud to take on this case and intends to use the Human Rights Act to prevent abuses of this kind happening again."

Watching football is not a crime! campaign aims:

To stop the use of Section 27 legislation as a strategy for policing football supporters.
To inform supporters that this is happening with previous examples and steps to take if you are a victim of Section 27 legislation.
Prosecution/compensation - to establish whether or not use of Section 27 legislation by police on football supporters in this way is lawful, and if not, to take appropriate legal action to compensate as many of the victims of this tactic as possible. Specifically, we will strive to achieve the following compensation for innocent fans: refunds on travel expenses and match tickets, deletion of any records of incidents held on file, and a written apology.
Donate the price of a pint to Watching football is not a crime!

Get your Section 27 fact sheet - you might need it

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Site Staff
Date:Thursday December 18 2008
Time: 2:31PM


I remember in the early '80's when Norwich played Villa at home in a European cup game (I think Villa went on to win it that year) loads of fans from both camps were drinking together in the Norwich City Supporters Club, lots of drink was drunk and both sets of fans were very noisy - especially the Villa ones - but there was no trouble at all and a good time was had by all (except City went and lost the game). I suppose that under current laws and police attitudes most of us would have been moved on and banned from watching further games. What a sad indictment it is of our society as it is now when fans are not allowed to be just a little bit rowdy in support of our team. It's half the fun for Christ's sake! Police state or what?
norfolk dumpling
19/12/2008 08:43:00
Completely agree ND. It's only a matter of time before something like this happens. Some of the treatment by the Met Old Bill of some of our supporters on away days is a joke.
19/12/2008 10:34:00
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