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FSF - Watching Football Isn't A Crime

WATCHING FOOTBALL IS NOT A CRIME!

Here at FSF Towers.....hold on, what the fcuk is “FSF”? Ah, right. From the beginning. “FSF” is the Football Supporters’ Federation. It does what it says on the tin. 142,000+ fans of clubs and national teams throughout England & Wales. Arsenal to Altricham, Cardiff City to Carlisle, Torquay United to Tranmere Rovers, Aston Villa to AFC Wimbledon, England, Wales, you get it. Right, start again.

Here at FSF Towers we’re mad as hell and we’ve had enough. Of Section 27 that is....hold on, what the fcuk is “Section 27”? Sorry! It’s Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006. This new law gives any police officer power over any person where they believe, “that the presence of the individual in that locality is likely...... to cause or to contribute to the occurrence of alcohol-related crime or disorder.....”

The Act gives Old Bill/Dibble/Bizzies/Rozzers the power to require an individual to leave a locality for a period of 48 hours by a route the police decide. The Home Office guidance to police on how this power should be used says, 'supervising officers must monitor the use of the power to consider whether there is any evidence that it is being exercised on the basis of stereotyped images or inappropriate generalisations.' All good stuff.

We wish. We’ve now got cases of eighty Stoke City fans peacefully drinking in a pub in Irlam near Manchester before their game at Old Trafford a few weeks ago being “locked” in the pub, then bussed back to Stoke, missing the game. We’ve got the case of nine Plymouth Argyle fans who’d flogged all the way up the motorway from Devon to South Yorkshire being escorted out of a town centre pub in Doncaster before their match against Rovers, put back in their mini-bus and escorted down the motorway south in relays by South Yorkshire, then Derbyshire, then Leicestershire police. In both cases, no offences had been committed and the pubs’ landlords were happy with the fans’ behaviour.

The Plymouth party, which included an eleven year old boy, a company director and the son of a recently retired senior police officer, were even refused permission to leave the mini-bus to use the toilet. They had to pee into plastic bottles. The police finally relented and allowed them to stop when it was pointed out that the internal combustion engine doesn’t work without fuel.

Whilst they filled up they were surrounded by police, including baying dogs. And all this is an absolutely true story. There isn’t the remotest chance that any of these people were causing or about to cause “alcohol-related disorder”. In fact, in both cases fans trying to leave the pubs they were in were told to go back inside and have a drink. Good way to cut down on alcohol fuelled mayhem! And how much did all this cost the tax-payer? Would the police time and effort have been better expended? Call us old-fashioned, but we thought the role of the police was to detect and deter crime. No criminals needing their collars felt in Manchester or Doncaster that day then?

This has GOT to stop. We don’t know about you but we’re sick and tired of being treated like criminals for being football fans without due care and attention. We’re mad as hell and we’re just not going to take it anymore. The FSF is now working with the civil rights organisation Liberty to take legal action on these cases, it’s going to court so we can put an end to the police using these tactics.

We can help you and you can help us. There’s loads of information on your rights on the FSF website at fsf.org.uk. You can also join us as a member and donate to the costs of this campaign. Let us know if you get caught up in the Section 27 web by emailing us at: section27@fsf.org.uk, or give us a bell on 08702 777777. This Act was meant to deal with the local pub drunk, violent super-lager drinkers annoying people in the park, and young scrotes who want to kill somebody after a sniff of the barmaid’s apron NOT peaceful football fans minding their own business. You’d think we lived in the Soviet Union under communism. Enough with the storm trooper antics!

Know your rights and join the FSF’s campaign – Watching football is not a crime!

For further information, including a fact sheet on Section 27 (could come in handy if you’re unlucky enough to be singled out by the coppers) check out www.fsf.org.uk.




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The Journalist

Writer: FSF Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 8 2009

Time: 5:28PM

Your Comments

That’s outrageous! If the police are given these powers with very ambiguous guidelines and without any recourse if there is a misuse of these OTT laws that means the end of freedom for us as football fans as we know it. Excellent article highlighting a very serious issue.
LondonGooner
Any action that may cause lefty-loonies Liberty to fold has to be good! :o)
The Real Neil
If these stories are accurate, they spell the beginning of the end of freedom for everyone, not just football fans. What do the relevant police forces say about these incidents, I wonder?
BobTheBuilder
Joking aside from my post two above, the FSF would be taken more seriously if they toned down their rhetoric. As anyone who knows anything about 20th century history would know, one of the last points doesn't make sense.

You’d think we lived in the Soviet Union under communism. Enough with the storm trooper antics!

Unless I am very much mistaken, storm troopers were employed by Nazi Germany and not the Soviet Union. Yes, I'm being pedantic and it's a small point, but if a group wants to be taken seriously, such things shouldn't slip through. I'd also suggest referring to the police as "Old Bill/Dibble/Bizzies/Rozzers" is plain daft.

From memory, even without the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 even existing, legislation is already in place to make it a technical offence to enter a football stadium after having anything alcoholic to drink. The law in Scotland is even stricter (and/or actually more ardently enforced), but it would appear FSF are just England and Wales.
The Real Neil
Briefly, to BobTheBuilder, I agree. This is arguably a Civil Rights issue and should be dealt with as such. But that side of it is far too big an issue for a group like the FSF to even get involved with. But the language they use is farcical. So are we meant to believe that it is impossible for someone to be a troublemaker if they are "a company director" or "the son of a recently retired senior police officer" as the article suggest?!? I think not!!!
The Real Neil
This would never do at Lords chaps, could never have a bunch of ***** toffs arrested what....
col8
I agree about the language used by the FSF, Neil, which is why I prefaced my post with 'if' and wondered what the police forces involved had to say. Of course we can't assume that all company directors or sons of policemen are law-abiding, but neither should we assume that everything done by every policeman is legal either (witness what the courts thought of certain police evidence in the Menezes case). We should not jump up and down and rant about 'police state' without good cause, but part of the road to such a state is failing to ask for explanations where there is doubt.
BobTheBuilder
 

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