Case Studies

Euro 2012 op

by msecadm4921

UK football policing officers will head to Euro 2012 as part of an international policing contingent to assist authorities in Poland and the Ukraine, the tournament hosts.



The UK team of 24 will be led by the ACPO lead on football Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt and will be made up of officers from 11 forces; with from the UK Football Policing Unit. Authorities in the Ukraine and Poland will fund the contingent, which are being sent to support the local police operations to ensure a safe and trouble-free tournament. The team will fly to the Ukraine and to Poland in time for England’s first game against France in Donetsk on June 11.


Eighteen will remain in the Ukraine and six will be deployed in Poland.


ACC Holt said: “The UK, over recent years, has developed a strong record of effective policing of football matches and our expertise in this area has been actively sought by other countries. Officers deployed to Poland and the Ukraine will be deployed in full uniform and in plain clothes and will act as supporter liaison officers, intelligence gatherers and ambassadors. These officers are experienced in policing football matches in the UK and will act as a direct link into the Ukraine and Polish police to help ensure that fans are policed both appropriately and proportionately to make it a safe and enjoyable event for everyone.”


In response to concerns about crime rates, ACC Holt said fans were advised to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for tips on keeping safe during the tournament. ACC Holt said police were not anticipating disorder at the event, but warned any fans who were arrested would be dealt with under local policing laws.


“The reality is that the overwhelming majority of England fans heading to Euro 2012 are there to support the national team and the game of football. Those who engage in any trouble must realise that they will feel the full force of local policing laws. Anyone involved in football-related trouble can also expect to face a football banning order when they return to the UK.”


ACC Holt said that with policing arrangements in the Ukraine and Poland, police were also planning a national policing operation to ensure safety in town centres for those fans remaining at home. The policing operation includes security of the running of the torch relay which co-incides with the Euro 2012 tournament. A ports operation will also be in place so those with existing football banning orders have complied with requirements to surrender their passports to police and to remain in the UK during the Euros.


ACC Holt said: “UK police are used to handling multiple events and we have the resilience nationally to deal with the demands of the Euro 2012 tournament, the Olympics and the torch relay. Police will be stepping up patrols in city centres to tackle any alcohol-related disorder as well as to manage any crowds at proposed big screen events.


“As this is the last major sporting event ahead of the Olympics, the eyes of the world will be on England fans and we will hopefully be showcasing the best of our supporters at home and abroad.”



The policing team heading to Ukraine will consist of a gold commander, silver commander, operational co-ordinator, two liaison officers and 12 football intelligence officers / spotters. The team heading to Poland will include a silver commander, 1 liaison officer and 4 football intelligence officers /spotters. A press officer will also be supporting the delegation.


The team is made up of officers from 11 forces, the UK Football Policing Unit and ACPO press office. The officers are from Greater Manchester Police, Hampshire, Humberside, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Metropolitan, Norfolk, South Yorkshire, Thames Valley and West Midlands. They were selected based on their experience in policing football in the UK.


Passport surrender will be on May 29 and 30. There are 2,050 individuals on banning orders who will be subjected to passport surrender conditions. The reason being there are a greater number but some will be exempt for various reasons. This figure will be subject to change between now and the beginning of the tournament. Almost all of the individuals who will surrender their passports, did not get a banning order as a result of following England. Most are related to domestic clubs and are not known to be England fans.


Those who are subject of a ban will have to hand in their passports to local police and must remain in the UK for the duration of the tournament. Passports will be returned on July 1. Any subject who fails to comply with a football banning order can be arrested and taken to court. On conviction they can face 6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and a further banning order. The ports operation will begin June 6.


Officers deployed abroad cannot go without the Home Secretary signing a bilateral memorandum of understanding with the host country. There will be two MOUs – one for the deployment in the Ukraine and the other for Poland. The MOUs involve an agreement to prevent risk supporters and those with banning orders from entering Poland or the Ukraine and sharing intelligence.


The officers will have no powers of arrest when deployed abroad, however if England fans misbehave UK officers can gather intelligences to present to a UK court to apply for a football banning order. The officers are expected to be deployed near airports and in town centres where fans may be congregating.  


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has put advice for fans on their website:

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