Football clubs face call to increase policing payments
Published: 10th Apr 2012 05:04:23
Football clubs should pay for the cost of policing a wider area around stadia, the sport's most senior police officer in England and Wales has said.
Official police policy is to only charge for policing in grounds and the area immediately around it.
But ACC Andy Holt told BBC Radio 5 live clubs should pay the full cost of managing games as trouble spreads to other city areas and transport hubs.
The Football League said taxes are paid to cover policing costs.
It said football fans should not "pay twice for policing".
ACC Holt said it was his personal opinion that forces should be able to claim back the costs of disorder linked to games, instead on being restricted to just the policing costs near stadia.
His comments came after research commissioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) found a statistically significant rise in crime and disorder at least a kilometre away from grounds.
"It's my personal view that we should have full cost recovery," he told the BBC.
"We are not trying to enforce that at the moment. We are working with clubs and it's a matter for discussion in due course.
"But I would reiterate, my personal view is that professional businesses that are in the entertainment industry should pay for the full costs of their policing."
The issue has been a long running sore between the football authorities and the forces that police the games.
It came to a head in 2008 when Wigan Athletic took Greater Manchester Police to court over how much they were being charged to police their games.
We fail to see why football fans should pay twice for policing”
The so-called 'Wigan ruling' means forces are only able to charge for the 'footprint' - the area inside the ground and some surrounding streets.
But as crowd control has improved, police say the trouble has moved from football stadia to other parts of cities such as transport hubs. They are unable to charge clubs for that policing.
New research commissioned by Acpo, seen by BBC Radio 5 live, shows how the problems have shifted.
The Jill Dando Institute for Crime Science at University College, London compared crime patterns around five stadia between 2005 and 2010.
It found in four of the five cases that levels of crime and disorder rose significantly on match days compared to similar non-match days at least a kilometre from grounds.
"In general, what the findings told us was there are these patterns, these higher than normal counts of crime that are occurring in areas that extend beyond what the football clubs are currently being held responsible for," Justin Kurland, a research associate said.
"In general what we saw were increased levels of violence against the person offences. In addition to that we saw theft and handling increases.
"We did as much as we could to rule out that other factors contributed to differences and when you boil it down it does appear that the only difference between these sets of days that we looked at, one type of day has a football match occurring…and on the non-match comparison days there is no match happening."
The idea that football should pay any more though has met with strong opposition from within the game.
In a statement the Football League said: "Costs incurred away from the ground that are deemed necessary are covered by the state - it's what people pay their taxes for, with English professional football contributing more that £1bn a year to the Treasury, let alone the tax paid by the millions of fans who attend Premier League and Football League games during the season, and who are of course entitled, like all citizens, to police services as they go about their lawful business.
"We are always happy to discuss how it might be possible to further reduce costs, or indeed how football can help the police tackle youth crime, but we fail to see why football fans should pay twice for policing."
At 15:02:39 in SportNorth Ferriby manager Billy Heath has appealed to Gainsborough Trinity to act "professionally" in their Conference North decider against AFC Telford.
At 15:02:36 in HeadlinesRival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal after a meeting in the Gaza Strip.
At 14:58:30 in EnglandA body supporting NHS groups in the eastern region has warned it could cease to operate in its "current form".
At 14:53:58 in EnglandSteven Gerrard's cousin, who died in the Hillsborough disaster, would have been "very proud" of the England captain, his mother told an inquest.
At 14:52:57 in EnglandA list of the schools Ofsted has been sent in to inspect over an alleged plot by Muslim hard-liners to seize control of governing bodies has been published.
At 14:52:04 in ScotlandControversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources have been delayed by the government.
At 14:48:29 in ScotlandThe oil and gas industry is worth about £35bn to the UK economy, according to a new study.
At 14:46:07 in WalesA benefits cheat who claimed to have a fear of open spaces has been jailed for a year at Merthyr Crown court after being caught working as a tour guide in South America.
At 14:44:41 in EnglandJurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
At 14:42:23 in HeadlinesFor centuries, gardeners have put shards of pottery - "crocks" - at the bottom of plant pots to increase drainage. But a new study has debunked the tradition, writes Tom de Castella.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Football clubs face call to increase policing payments [Online] (Updated 10th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1421423/Football-clubs-face-call-to-increase-policing-payments [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal after a meeting in the Gaza Strip.
Controversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources have been delayed by the government.
Jurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
The Football Association was hit by a £34m drop in broadcasting rights income last season compared with 2011-12.
A body supporting NHS groups in the eastern region has warned it could cease to operate in its "current form".
Three people have appeared in court charged in connection with an incident at a loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.