9 comments on “Football Crazy

  1. Pingback: Football Crazy | Policing news | Scoop.it

  2. Umm wow, as a huge fan of football in the lower leagues and a regular attender I am shocked by the bitterness and lack of respect for the people you are meant to be poliicing.

    Firstly I am sorry your rest day was cancelled, that does suck and I know I would hate to have my days off cancelled and called in. But this is kind of your job, You get paid for this, if you don’t think your pay is enough that is another problem (one I actually sympathise with) but surely when you applied to be a police officer you realised it wouldn’t be a 9-5 job? If you want a 9-5 job and never to deal with people perhaps you should look elsewhere for your employment.

    Secondly I am pleased that you recognise that normal supporters are the majority, even if you see fit to put normal in inverted commas. It might be nice then if you had mentioned a bit more about their experience. Perhaps I can fill you in, when I recently attended a game I arrived by train at the same time as a lot of fans (40 or so) who were younger and actually in the category of loudmouth tossers who may want a bit of trouble. I got off the train and was met by at least 40 officers, who started escorting the entire group…. the wrong way. As I tried to explain I was not with this group I was not allowed to leave the police escort because I had arrived on the same train, I wanted to explore the town with my friend and walk calmyy to the ground but instead I was herderd like cattle. This antagnosis the fan as you are treated with suspicion straight away. I understand caution but when you act superior to the people you are policing you are no longer policing by consent but by force, this creates the us vs them attitude which increases violence. As stated by another response on here when you are videoing fans constantly it also increases tension. Is there an obvious answer to this? Maybe not but I do think your attitude needs to be adjusted if you want a more peaceful Saturday.

    I d completely understand your frustration at a lack of information about being taken to a new town, but surely this is something you should raise with your commanders so you are better prepared and briefed. This would not be hard to do, speak to the club and I am sure they will give you information, it is hardly the fault of a football fan if your force is disorganised so I think you should probablly talk to your command team.

    Finally you seem unaware that football clubs already do pay for policing, it is only for an area around the ground perhaps but there is a large contribution which of course gets put onto us, the fans. While the top league is certainly awash with money that does not filter down much at all so any match below the Premiership level extra charges would cripple many clubs financially. However I would like to point out political demonstrations, national celebrations, cricket matches, music concerts, festivals, night clubs and many other events call for extra policing. If you are advocating football fans paying more for policing surely each of these events should apply as well. Ultimately policing is paid for from the national exchequer, we all pay into this exchequer and use diferent parts of the services provided. I for example have no children so do not use any of the services for children, I do however contribute to their upkeep. You may have children say use those facilities but do not attend events which require extra policing. People in a liberal democracy will like different things, do different activites and use different services. That is the system we live in. If you want to change that you are free to advocate that but I think it would be better if you were honest about that rather than just attacking one event that irritates you as you have to deal with it in your professional capacity.

    Please try to understand the mind of a football fan more, and not the sterotypical image of one you are talking about. If you understand that almost all football fans care passionately about enjoying their saturday and watching thir team, then treat them that way and with respect you will find that almost all football fans will treat you with respect and gratitude back. It will make it much easier for you to weed out the 2% who are not regualr decent football fans, and to deal with them appropriately. I hope you read this and gain a bit more perspective.

    Thank you.

  3. I’m my experience the majority of fans want to have a nice day out with their mates, a few beers and hopefully 3 points. What discourages fans from attending is attitudes like this from the Police. ( suppose you’ll be quite happy with that though, less work and all that. )

    I suppose it’s far easier to label us all with one tag, that anyone who isn’t wearing the clubs replica shirt is after a bit of bother, however it’s simply not the case. A little bit more thought and more respect towards supporters would be welcomed although I’ll not hold my breath. In no other capacity would normal people expect to be treated like this by the police other than at a football match and maybe that should be looked into.

    The part about being escorted to the pub is fairly ridiculous, most people in the group want to go to the pub or railway station anyway. That’s why they are there.

    I don’t expect attitudes towards fans to change, however it’s worth bearing in mind that underneath the clothing, I’ve got a family, a mortgage, a job just the same as everyone else. Maybe I don’t want a fight. Maybe I want a good Saturday out with my mates.

  4. The problem is that if you go in to police a football match with the sort of attitude that is visible within your article above, then yes you will find confrontation wherever you turn. My own club have been in the league for 12 years and we’ve been through all three Football League divisions. I have seen more trouble in a town centre on a Saturday night than I have in or around those grounds. Most police recognise that, and know that crowd trouble in football games is the extreme exception, rather than the rule. On the few occasions when I have witnessed problems, it’s usually been magnified by a steward or a policeman with a clear chip on their shoulder, who does the bull-in-a-china-shop approach to any potential incident, and ensures the whole thing blows up. Most of the time, the well-trained stewards and police – the ones that don’t dismiss their pre-match briefings as ‘waffle, waffle, blah blah’ – are an asset to that football club and that town, and are helpful to us. If you’re experiencing problems at football grounds, then maybe you might need to look a bit closer to home and the attitude that comes out of this article.

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