Watching football is not a crime!
18th December 2008


IMUSA members are also affiliate members of the FSF

The FSF has teamed up with the civil rights organisation Liberty to fight for the rights of fans who have been unjustly detained under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act.

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.'

More details about the FSF campaign here

Usfeul information about Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006:

* S27 is individually-based. There is no power to apply S27 collectively against a group of people.

* The police officer issuing the order has to have good reason to believe that it is necessary to invoke S27 to prevent the person on whom it is served engaging in alcohol-related crime or disorder.

* There has to be evidence on which to reach such a conclusion. Being in a pub on its own is not enough. Non-alcohol related disorder is not sufficient to invoke Section 27.

* S27 can require someone who meets the conditions above to leave that locality, police can specify the means and route. The law is unclear on what defines 'locality'.

* The police have no powers to make you sign anything. If you told you are being dealt with under S27 get the details of the officer concerned. Film or record the incident if you can. Get details from all fans involved and contact IMUSA and/or the FSF immediately.

* You can protest against its application so long as you do so reasonably and peacefully and you comply with the notice. If you fail to comply with a S27 notice, then you may be arrested and/or fined by the courts.

We believe this makes S27 a police tactic that infringes basic civil rights.

Are police compliant with the requirements set out above? Ask.

Print a copy of this and take it to all matches, you might need it. If you have been unjustly served a Section 27 email [email protected] or [email protected]

Home Office publication "Giving directions to individuals to leave a locality (Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006) Practical Advice" here

[ read more news articles ]