The issue of crowd disorder and player protection is in the spotlight after the Football League regular season ended and the play-offs were marred by pitch invasions.
Nottingham Forest season ticket holder Robert Biggs was jailed for 24 weeks on Thursday after deliberately charging Sheffield United player Billy Sharp at the City Ground earlier this week, headbutting him and knocking him to the ground.
There was another pitch invasion in Northampton on Wednesday night, when a man entered the pitch and burst into Mansfield’s Jordan Bowery in the League Two play-off semi-final second leg. No arrests have yet been confirmed in relation to this incident.
The CPS said it was currently working with clubs, player associations and organizations such as the Premier League and EFL to explain what kind of evidence is needed to charge in order to help clubs and leagues protect their players.
Douglas Mackay, the CPS’s senior sports prosecutor, said: “Over the past few years and months there has been a significant increase in football-related crime from pre-pandemic levels.
“At CPS, we play a crucial role in fighting these crimes and making our national sport inclusive, safe to watch and safe to play. There is no place for violent crime in football, and incidents like these have a significant impact on victims. .”
Some of the types of evidence clubs are asked to assist in a prosecution include CCTV footage, cellphone footage, body worn video (BWV) footage of security guards and eyewitness statements.
Mackay’s reference to an increase in football-related crime compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic is supported by data released by the UK Football Policing Unit earlier this year.
Trouble reports are up 36% in the first half of this season compared to the same period in 2019-20.
EFL security and operations adviser Bob Eastwood hailed Biggs’ conviction for “an unprovoked and cowardly act of violence”.
The league has indicated that it will consider what more can be done to address the problem of crowd behavior, saying in a statement Wednesday: “Over the summer, we will consider what other measures are now available to us, including including the potential use of capacity reductions or other similar mitigation measures.
Cultural Secretary Nadine Dorries was asked if the government could do anything to keep players safe, but told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee: “What happens on a football pitch is actually the responsibility of the governing organizations and the club itself.
“I think it is up to the individual clubs to ensure that there are appropriate levels of safety for their players in place on these grounds and that they put the right measures in place.
The Forest fan who attacked Sharp has been handed a 10-year football ban order as well as a custodial sentence.
Police Minister Kit Malthouse said on Thursday that prohibition orders of up to five years could be imposed on anyone found guilty of taking or selling Class A drugs at a game, as drug use fuels violence in football.
Malthouse said: “It has been an exciting season of football, but in some games we have seen ugly violence which shocked all leagues.
“Increasingly, the police are finding Class A drugs at the heart of this disorder and so we need to act. The football family wants every pitch to be a safe space for fans, especially children, and us too.”
Cheshire Police Chief Constable Mark Roberts, Football Policing Officer for the National Council of Police Chiefs, welcomed the decision and said: ‘I am pleased that the government has updated the football policing legislation. football ban to counter the growing disorder problems we have seen, partly driven by the use of Class A drugs.
“The police and football authorities all support this measure and it is an important step to ensure that drug use in football is tackled so that the majority of fans, especially those with families, can have fun without suffering from antisocial behavior and violence.”
Football clubs advised on best practice to tackle growing crowd disorder
Source link Football clubs advised on best practice to tackle growing crowd disorder