Football Banning Order

 

Following Brighton’s defeat against Crystal Palace yesterday there were 28 arrests arising ostensibly from the football related conflict. If you or a member of your family have been arrested for a football related offence one of the consequences you may ultimately face is a football banning order.

Below is a summary of the law relating to football banning orders which we hope you will find helpful.

What is a Football Banning Order?

It is a Court order which in relation to regulated football matches in England and Wales bans you from attending such a match, and in relation to regulated matches outside England and Wales requires you to report to a police station.

What is a regulated match?

An association football match which is a prescribed match or a match of a prescribed description

When can an order be made?

On conviction of a relevant offence or on application by the police.

What is a relevant offence? 

There are many offences which are ‘relevant offences’ including assaults, possession of an offensive weapon, public order offences, criminal damage IF they were committed at or in connection with a match or when travelling to or from a match

When should the court make a football banning order?

If is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that making such an order would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches then the Court must make such an order.

Is a football banning order on top of any sentence I will receive for the original offence?

Yes unless you receive an absolute discharge for the offence(s) the Court can consider making such an order.

When can the police apply for a football banning order?

Upon application by the chief officer of the police in the area you reside if it appears to the officer that you have at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the UK or elsewhere

How is this done?

The application would be heard at the Magistrates Court.

What is the criteria for such an application?

  • If it is proved that you have at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the UK or elsewhere, and
  • The Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that making such an order would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches, then
  • The Court must make the order

What is the effect of an Order?

As above, it would ban you from attending matches.

What must I do if an order is made against me?

Within 5 days from the order being made you must report at the police station specified in the order (there are supplemental provisions if you have been sentenced to a prison sentence)

Unless the Court finds exceptional circumstances, the order will require you to surrender your passport in connection with regulated football matches outside the UK

The order can impose further requirements upon you if the Court thinks fit regarding any regulated football matches and these will be specified in the order.

How long can an order last for?

  • On conviction: Where you have been sentenced to a sentence of imprisonment, the minimum term of an order is 6 years, the maximum is 10 years. In any other case the minimum is 3 years and the maximum is 5 years.
  • Where order is made on complaint of police: the minimum is 2 years, the maximum is 3 years

Reporting to police station

As stated above if an order is made against you, you will have to report to a police station as required. The police can impose requirements on you that are deemed necessary or expedient for giving effect to an order regarding regulated football matches outside England and Wales. For example, requiring you to report to a police station and surrender of your passport

Can an order be varied?

Yes, you (or the police or prosecutor) can apply to the Court to vary the order which can include imposing, replacing or removing requirements 

Can I apply for the order to be terminated?

Yes, if it has been in force for at least two-thirds of its duration you can apply to terminate it. Upon such an application the court will consider your character, what your conduct has been like since the order was made, the offence or conduct which led to it being made and any other relevant circumstances. If your application is refused, you cannot repeat the application until 6 months have passed. You may be liable for costs of any such application.

What happens if I breach the order?

This is a separate criminal offence which would be dealt with in the Magistrates Court. The maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment.

 

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