2012 Games 'no place for hooligans' as 83 Scots join banned list
2 April 2010
By Gareth Rose
SCOTTISH hooligans will be banned from attending 2012 Olympic football matches, the Home Office has announced. A total of 83 Scottish supporters, as well as 3,141 from England and Wales, who are subject to football banning orders will be told to stay away from games held in London, Glasgow and Cardiff.
Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, said: "Football is our national game, enjoyed by millions of people across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Our message today is that there is simply no place for hooliganism or antisocial behaviour at matches and as a government we have been determined to make the game as safe as possible for fans across the country.
"We promised to close the loophole and ensure anyone given a football banning order would not be able to attend matches in Scotland, no matter where their offence was committed. We have done so today and I am glad to see the minority of so-called fans will also be banned from any Olympic football matches at Hampden."
The new laws will also ensure the orders are automatically recognised across Britain, no matter where they are imposed. Alan Campbell, the Parliamentary under-secretary of state responsible for crime reduction at the Home Office, added: "Football hooligans have no place in the modern game – whether it is in the lower divisions, the Premier League or at London 2012. We are determined to deliver a safe and secure Games in keeping with the Olympic spirit. These powers will help police achieve that and provide yet another weapon to crack down on hooligans across Britain."
Bans are for between three and ten years, and the conditions can be tailored on a case-by-case basis. If necessary, the courts can ban recipients from using public transport on match days and from visiting other potential "hotspots", such as town centres, pubs and bars during risk periods.
I didn't know that Hampden was to be used for some games - it's only the first round matches, but it's great to hear anyway. I'll be at some of those if I can.
That was pretty good. If you put some of the ICF members that they showed in the beginning of the documentary into a line up with some other thugs, I would never have picked them out as hooligans. They all looked so new wave and girlie. Interesting that it is supposed to be all about the football and hatred for the other teams and their firms, but not one of them wore any team gear. In fact, they said they knew supporters were not part of a firm if they wore scarves and hats and such. That is interesting. They compare themselves to the military in the end piece, but then don't wear the obvious uniform. Very interesting stuff...and I got to see Hoddle... bonus!!
Hooligans stab teen before Brighton match
20th April 2010
Football hooligans stabbed a man in a pre-match brawl when Brighton and Hove Albion visited Southend United. Eight Brighton men were arrested after what police suspect was a pre-planned fight between Southend and Albion supporters on the seafront of the Essex resort. Police are pledging to have the thugs responsible banned from matches even if they do not face criminal prosecution.
On Saturday, many of the 1,300 Albion fans who travelled for the match had gathered in pubs on Southend’s seafront for a lunchtime drink before going to the match. At about 2.30pm, Essex Police were called to the Clifftown area of the town, where about 30 people were involved in a fight. Witnesses said the street was left littered with broken glass.
A 17-year-old from Essex suffered a gash on his arm and was given ten stitches in hospital. Police said yesterday they believed a weapon had caused the wound, but were unable to confirm exactly what it was. A witness said it was a knife.
Nine men were arrested on suspicion of public order offences and assault. Eight of those were from Brighton, six in their early 20s and two in their late 30s. They were released on police bail.
A 19-year-old Essex man was cautioned for a public order offence PC Darren Balkham, of Sussex Police, who led a team of “spotters” to identify troublemakers among Albion fans, said the fact the fight had taken place away from the ground, and in a residential area away from busy bars, could indicate it was a pre-arranged meeting.
Saturday’s clashes followed violence at the corresponding fixture in September, when about 30 men hurled bottles at each other in Clarendon Road, Hove. PC Balkham said the problem of hooliganism is not believed to be on the rise, but has come into the spotlight this season because of the large number of fixtures Albion have played against neighbouring clubs.
He is planning to go back to Essex for a meeting with the officers investigating the fight. Part of the investigation will focus on whether any of those arrested were already regarded as “risk supporters”. If charges are not brought, police can apply for a civil order banning people from matches. The burden of proof in civil courts is lower, so a judge would have to be persuaded that on the balance of probabilities the people were involved in violence.
Action was taken last month against Joshua Moore, 21, of Chichester Drive East, Saltdean, who was banned from Albion games for five years under the Football Spectators Act. He had been warned 13 times about his behaviour in four years but never charged.
Several people were removed from the Albion end of Southend’s Roots Hall ground at the end of the match and escorted by dozens of police to the station. The move was not believed to be directly linked to the trouble but was aimed at preventing further disturbances outside the ground.
PC Balkham said: “The club fully support us through their zero tolerance policy, and we will work collectively to ensure that violent supporters cannot attend football matches or the new community stadium at Falmer.”
Albion managing director Ken Brown said: “The majority of our 1,333 fans were extremely well behaved and enjoyed the day, but sadly a small minority of so-called supporters of both clubs had a different agenda. We will await reports from the police, concerning the isolated, pre-arranged meeting, but anyone found guilty of antisocial behaviour can expect to be dealt with accordingly. Thankfully none of the injuries were serious, but I take this opportunity to remind all fans that Brighton and Hove Albion operates a zero tolerance policy on antisocial behaviour."
Anyone with information about hooliganism is asked to call PC Darren Balkham at Hove police station on 0845 6070999, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Ex football hooligan is coming to town to speak in Halifax bar
07 May 2010
A FORMER football hooligan turned best selling author will be appearing in Halifax to talk about his experiences. Carlton Leach's biography was so popular that it was turned into the box-office smash Rise of the Footsoldier. Mr Leach, a lifelong West Ham FC fan, was a football hooligan with the infamous Inter City Firm in his youth.
He went on to become a boun cer in the East End of London before going on to become one of the most notorious gangsters around. Three of his gang members were infamously murdered in a Range Rover in Rettendon, Essex, in 1995. After turning his back on crime, Mr Leach has become a successful author and speaker.
Stephen Mitchell, the man responsible for bringing Mr Leach to Halifax, said: "It will be fantastic to see Carlton in Halifax. Many people will know about his story from Rise of the Footsoldier and he is now known as a successful speaker. He also does a lot of work raising money for the Help the Heroes charity, which is a really good cause."
Mr Leach is not the first celebrity speaker to be brought to Halifax by Mr Mitchell – ex boxer Nigel Benn came here earlier this year.
Mr Mitchell said: "It is great to be able to bring these types of celebrities to Halifax and I'm hoping to be booking John Barnes for later this year."
Mr Leach will appear at Bar Eleven, Harrison Road, Halifax, on Wednesday, May 19. Call Mr Mitchell on 07505396106 for tickets and more information.
Oh, he does a lot of good work for charity! He'd fucking need to after the turmoil and chaos the cunt's caused throughout his life.
Of course, when that charity is one which helps injured government killers soldiers it makes a bit more sense.
The Last Word: Hooliganism isn't back... it never went away Coins hurled at players, hoardings thrown at police, fan skirmishes – the bad old days are here to stay
By Simon Turnbull
Sunday, 16 May 2010
It had been quite a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the Humberside sunshine. On the pitch at the KC Stadium there was nothing at stake other than a bit of belated pride, Hull City having already failed to preserve their Premier League status and Liverpool having already failed to qualify for a Champions' League qualifying round spot. It showed. For the most part, the fixture was played out with the intensity of a testimonial match.
It was not much of a nothing-nothing, but then came the ado at the final whistle. Home fans streamed on to the pitch at the final whistle, some surrounding Steven Gerrard, who pushed out at one when his captain's armband was tugged. The England midfielder looked more peeved than threatened as he made his way towards the tunnel, raising both arms above his head, as if to say to the great unwashed surrounding him: "Do not even think of touching me."
Meanwhile, an altogether uglier scene was developing at the junction of the North and East Stands. Rival fans were throwing missiles at one another. There was some mutual goading and then a charge that required the intervention of police and stewards to avert a mass confrontation. The Hull Daily Mail reported the following day that there had been four arrests. A Humberside Police spokesman said: "The vast majority of Hull City and Liverpool supporters attended the game yesterday to cheer on their team. However, a small number of people came intent on causing trouble."
It was a similar story at several other grounds on the final weekend of the regulation League season. At Burton, visiting "fans" went on the rampage at the final whistle, following confirmation of Grimsby's relegation from the Football League. Advertising hoardings were ripped up and thrown at police and there were skirmishes all around the Midlands town. Trouble was also reported on the edge of the Cotswolds at Cheltenham, where Accrington Stanley were the visitors.
Most depressing of all was the confrontation between rival supporters at the final of the Muratti Vase, the annual Channel Islands cup competition. Fans of Jersey and Guernsey clashed on the pitch at the final whistle at the Springfield Stadium in St Helier. Traffic cones and bottles were hurled and Guernsey fans had to be escorted to the nearby ferry terminal by police, for their own protection. "A small number of Jerseymen did not go to watch football and had other ideas on their minds," Inspector Alan Williamson of the Jersey Police force said.
All of this came while the Football Association were busy investigating incidents from the previous weekend. At Kenilworth Road, Luton fans invaded the pitch, threw coins at York City players and hurled brooms and mops at police. At Hillsborough, fans clashed on the pitch after the 2-2 draw that confirmed Sheffield Wednesday's relegation and Crystal Palace's survival in the Championship.
"Fears that hooliganism is returning to the English game have risen following a series of unsavoury incidents," one national newspaper website reported. It has, in fact, never gone away. In general terms, it has become less high-profile than it was in the bad old days of open conflict on terraces in the 1970s and 1980s – with notable exceptions such as the predictable all-out rumble that surrounded the Carling Cup tie between West Ham and Millwall last August. In some ways, however, it has become more ingrained.
Visiting the local Asda superstore for some ink to print out local newspaper reports of last weekend's trouble, it was ironic and deeply disheartening to walk down the books aisle and see two rows of shelving devoted to volumes celebrating the phenomenon of hooliganism. In between the biography section, featuring Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father, and the classics section, featuring 1984 and Little Dorrit, were such tawdry tomes as Terrace Legends and The Real Football Factories.
Hooligan 'firms' were around in the bad old days but they did not enjoy an acceptance into mainstream society, with books glorifying them on supermarket shelves and programmes devoted to them on late-night television. And back in the 1980s, good old Jim Bergerac could go about his business on Jersey without any danger of detecting football hooligans at work.
As worrying as the activities of the hard-core firms, who tend to cause most of their trouble in pre-arranged clashes away from the immediate vicinity of football grounds, has been the spread of tribal rivalry among the wider world of football fans. Driving away from Asda, the Nissan Micra in front had a "Baby on Board" sign in the back window and a sticker depicting a figure in a black-and-white shirt urinating on a red-and-white jersey. You would not have seen that in the 1990s, let alone the Seventies and Eighties.
It is symptomatic, of course, of a broader increase in snarling, confrontational, yobbish behaviour in public – the kind of blight on society it would be heartening to think the new Lib-Con government might start to eradicate. In reality though, we will still be talking about the plague of football hooliganism five years from now, and wringing our hands in despair.
"The Neanderthal monster," the Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle called it after witnessing it at first hand when his team played Blackburn at Turf Moor in March. Its ugly head is always there, waiting to rear up and cast a menacing shadow over the beautiful game.
While on the pitch Saints have had two of the most turbulent seasons in their history, off the pitch the team hailed as a family-friendly club have been involved in some of the most memorable games – but not for the right reasons. Five times in the past 18 months big matches at St Mary’s have been marred by disgraceful scenes of violence not previously associated with the south coast club. Police and football chiefs have become so worried by the growing situation – which they say is tarnishing the reputation of Southampton FC – that crowd trouble before and after games in the city has been raised at a national level.
At the centre of this new wave of hooliganism is a “risk” group of about 60 so-called Southampton fans hell-bent on causing violence and disorder. The Daily Echo can today reveal how alarmingly, most of them are schoolboys aged between 14 and 16 who appear to pride themselves on generating thuggery. They are a group more interested in what violence they can create by involving others, than what they can actually achieve themselves, say police.
One of the first and most significant matches where officers found themselves facing mass disorder was Saints’ defeat to Charlton Athletic last April, when the club was facing the threat of relegation having already been plunged into administration and set to receive a ten point deduction. Having lost in the final few minutes, fans spilled out of the ground on to the concourse of the stadium where a swelling crowd of some 500 Saints fans gathered to goad opposition supporters.
Superintendent Rick Burrows, football commander in charge of overseeing the policing of Saints games, said: “What cannot be heard on that video is the clink of coins, pebbles and stones being hurled by Saints fans at Charlton fans who were being held against the wall of the stadium.” Supt Burrows, who has spent 25 years overseeing the policing of football, describes the “pavement dancing” of scores of Saints fans – described by academics as “ritualised aggression” – who can be seen goading away fans and police, waving their arms in the air and shouting and swearing.
While the situation is brought under control, police can be seen ushering elderly Saints fans caught up in the melee away from the trouble. Similar scenes of mass disorder have been repeated at Saints home games against Yeovil Town, Luton Town, Pompey, and most recently Swindon Town, where injuries were sustained, multiple arrests were made and many Saints fans brought before the courts to face charges.
But what is behind the growing trend of football disorder in Southampton and what is being done about it? Next month Southampton police will unveil their new weapon in driving out the problem – in the form of the first ever football banning officer who will be based in the city. Funded nationally, the new officer will work alongside Supt Burrows and the city’s football spotters and intelligence unit looking specifically at Southampton’s “risk” group. Football banning orders have already shown their value – with 109 people in Hampshire having been slapped with the order that stops them attending any ground or match, in some cases for between three and five years.
Supt Burrows said: “It is one of our greatest tools to get this tiny minority, who are ruining it for the rest, away from the football scene. It’s incumbent on not just us, but the club and even the media to tackle these people and deal with them. I don’t want to make it sound like Southampton is a dangerous place for football to take place or for fans to visit – it certainly isn’t. There is no major problem, more a problem involving a tiny number of people that is rising, and we will do all that we can to tackle it. We have a very good relationship with the club and its stewards and work really well together and compliment each other to achieve the same goal. The club’s safety officer has been extremely supportive of our efforts to deal with this small minority.”
Supt Burrows believes problems of low-level hooliganism stem back some 18 months. “During the last season and a half we have seen a steady increase in the number of cases of disorder, with more people going through the courts and more people receiving banning orders. Southampton is known as a family friendly club nationally, with a very good reputation with a history of little of no disorder, but that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny at the moment. There is a small number of what we term “risk group” who are spoiling the reputation of the club. They have over the past few months sought confrontation, often with individual fans or groups rather than large groups. They are bringing the reputation of Southampton down. You find that older fans then respond and get drawn back in to football related violence. The youth risk are more about what they can cause or generate, than what they can actually do themselves.”
So is it significant that as Saints found themselves sliding from the Premiership through the Championship to League One, the incidents of violence increased?
Supt Burrows said: “We saw a change of fan base, as any club does when it comes out of the Premiership. You don’t have that corporate environment that you get with clubs with big money. It’s just a personal opinion, but as clubs go in to a lower division the money disappears and the fan base alters. That then can, given the right circumstances, develop a risk group. There is no agreed definition of what a football hooligan is, but essentially I believe it’s what it says on the tin. They are interested in football, but whether at home or away they also seek to get involved in trouble.”
Supt Burrows draws on his vast experience combined with numerous academic studies and research papers into football crowds and hooligan trouble to explain his theory of how football disorder breaks out. He points to tiers of groups, with a secondary group who will surround the core troublemakers and will join in with disorder if it happens. The third group can be drawn in to violent scenes, but wouldn’t normally, while the fourth is the remaining vast majority of fans who will stand back and watch.
“There’s often no sense of right, that even though they are breaking the law, there is also something about loss of identity in a crowd. Hooliganism tends to go in cycles and it can flare up when something big happens such as the run up to the World Cup or the build up to a local derby game. At the centre of it you find people who are predominantly working class, who have experienced violence in the home or on the street as not only normal but it helps them bond as a group and some feel it gives them status.
“The incidents of hooliganism tend to be when they present themselves, rather than being organised well. I think a lot of it is ‘hold me back’ bravado and the pavement dancing we saw at Charlton, but it doesn’t take much to step over the line and that’s where we have to identify the catalysts and stop it escalating. I can sense it when disorder is about to happen, you can hear the tone of both sets of groups rise, you can feel it on the back of your neck. It takes something extra to spark it off and once it starts it can be very difficult to stop. The trick as a commander it ensuring you have the right people with the right skills to handle it.”
Soccer hooligan jailed for a year
24 May 2010
A FOOTBALL hooligan from Doncaster has been jailed for 12 months for taking part in crowd violence after the Carling Cup game between West Ham United and Millwall.
Lawrence Sullivan, aged 34, of Parkinson Street, Wheatley, was filmed throwing bottles and a brick at police outside Upton Park on August 25 last year. He was one of many suspects caught on camera before kick-off by a helicopter hovering over the The violent scenes - described by the then Sports Minister as 'a disgrace to football' - followed the stabbing of a Millwall supporter.
Sullivan was arrested in Doncaster two weeks later after police
circulated his picture to newspapers. At first he denied his involvement and claimed the picture was of 'someone who looked similar to him'. He later admitted involvement after police searched his home and found an identical jacket to the one seen on film. Sullivan admitted he had drunk 14 cans of Stella Artois that day despite being on anti-depressants.
Stephen Requena, prosecuting at Inner London Crown Court, said the violence at the Carling Cup match amounted to 'disorder not seen for many, many years'. He said that in the police film Sullivan could be seen smashing a brick and throwing half in the direction of police, as well as hurling two bottles. Later he was caught angrily pushing a wheelie bin towards police lines.
Defence barrister Desmond Rosario said Sullivan, a catalogue deliveryman, was 'entirely out of his depth' and was caught up with other hooligans. Commenting on the DVD film, he said: "This is someone who appears to be swept away with the crowd. He appears to be looking for an individual for some sort of support and typically doesn't precisely know the nature of his antagonist."
Judge Roger Chapple blasted Sullivan for his 'appalling behaviour' and said alcohol was no excuse. "It's a contributory factor if not the main factor in offences such as this. Mob violence is a loathsome phenomenon of modern life causing considerable and understandable alarm to the public and police officers who have to deal with it."
The judge said he was jailing Sullivan to deter others from doing the same thing. Sullivan, who admitted violent disorder, will be banned from all football matches on his release.
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