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Footy Hooligan Op

by msecadm4921

Football hooliganism has not gone away at local or national level. Avon and Somerset Constabulary are helping to prevent violence at the world cup qualifying rounds in Austria and Poland by running a special operation at Bristol International Airport.

Uniformed officers will be at the airport from August 31 until September 8 as part of the Government’s bid to make the world cup qualifiers safe and trouble free. This is part of a national operation which is taking place at all ports throughout the country. Officers will be targeting potential offenders and checking their passports and travel documents as they arrive at Bristol International Airport. Under the Football Disorder Act 2000 police have the power to detain anyone who they believe may cause violence or disorder at a match for up to six hours to make enquiries into their background.

Possibility of violence

If officers are satisfied there is a possibility of violence or disorder if the person is allowed to travel they can prevent them from doing so and make an application for a banning order at a court the following day. The application for an order is made on intelligence information and history of any previous convictions. Undercover officers will also be based at the airport looking out for people who are already the subject of a banning order or known football troublemakers. Anybody who has been issued with a banning order has to surrender their passport and should not travel. Officers will be liasing with other forces to collate intelligence and working with airlines to help prevent potential troublemakers from travelling. Previous operations have been held at the airport for events such as the Euro 2004 tournament.

What they say

Supt Adrian Coombs said: “Euro 2004 was relatively trouble free however there was and is a potential for disorder associated with the England team’s matches played abroad. During 2004 nationally 89 Section 21B notices were served, which prevented potential trouble makers from travelling abroad. This force served five notices and stopped over 1,000 people, of whom 71 were initially considered for football banning proceedings to be initiated. The Home Office has stated that there is no room for complacency despite this success and has urged us to continue our vigilance at all ports.”

For frequently asked questions about football banning orders people can log on to:

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